Boult, Southee star to put New Zealand on top

Tim Southee and Trent Boult had a magnificent day with bat, ball and on the field to put New Zealand in command in the second Test in Hamilton. New Zealand’s new ball bowlers first had a task with the bat after Windies managed to get rid of Neil Wagner and Tom Blundell early on Sunday (December 10). Even though Southee has a reputation for being a big hitter, Windies didn’t anticipate an assault from Boult.

The No.11 signalled his intentions off just the third ball he faced when he moved to the leg side and ramped one over the slip cordon. He brought out the ramp once again, this time off Miguel Cummins and the result was a six. Southee soon joined in the action when he pulled one off Gabriel, that took a top edge to sail over the boundary.

At one stage, Boult managed to collect four fours and one six in the space of ten deliveries much to the delight of the small crowd. The pair added 61 runs to frustrate the visitors as New Zealand finished with 373. Southee then came back to get rid of Kieron Powell in the very first over to peg the visitors back early. Post lunch, Kraigg Brathwaite received a huge reprieve in the third over of the session when he edged Trent Boult behind to the slip cordon. Tom Latham though misjudged the catch and went the other way initially as the ball went to the boundary.

Boult then produced one of the best moments of the day when he dived full length to his left off his own bowling to complete a catch that sent Shimron Hetmyer back to the pavilion. But post the wicket, Braithwaite switched gears and fetched a flurry of boundaries to build a partnership with Shai Hope before rain stopped play.

The break clearly disrupted the momentum as New Zealand struck immediately after play resumed. Southee bowled one from wide of the crease and induced the edge that was pouched by Ross Taylor at slip. Brathwaite immediately brought up his half-century with a delightful flick but he didn’t have anyone to fight it out from the other end. While Colin de Grandhomme got through Roston Chase’s defence with a straight delivery, Sunil Ambris got dismissed hit wicket for the second time in three innings much to New Zealand’s delight.

It was then the turn of Southee to almost try and match Boult’s effort on the field as the pacer, stationed at short cover, leapt to pluck one hit by Brathwaite. Even though he failed to gather it the first time, he ensured the catch was taken with one hand before the ball could touch the ground. Shane Dowrich then took matters into his own hands to ensure his side goes past the follow-on score. He hit a flurry of boundaries off Boult to move to 28 off 33 quickly and at the other end, debutant Raymon Reifer looked assured.

A couple of short balls then accounted for the wickets of Dowrich and Kemar Roach, who chanced his arm to make 17. Reifer and Miguel Cummins saw Windies crawl past 200 but New Zealand will fancy their chances to get the job done and pile on the runs tomorrow.

Brief scores: New Zealand 373 (Jeet Raval 84, Colin de Grandhomme 58; Shannon Gabriel 4-119, Kemar Roach 3-58) lead Windies 215/8 (Kraigg Brathwaite 66, Shane Dowrich 35; Tim Southee 2-34, Colin de Grandhomme 2-40) by 158 runs.

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