Black Caps tear apart West Indies on second day

David Leggat,
Publish Date
Saturday, 2 December 2017, 7:00p.m.
Colin de Grandhomme celebrates his century (PHOTOSPORT)
Colin de Grandhomme celebrates his century (PHOTOSPORT)

New Zealand took the West Indies apart in a hectic final session at the Basin Reserve today to set up a probable first test victory.

Allrounder Colin de Grandhomme's 71-ball century – the second best by a New Zealander and equal ninth best overall – iced New Zealand's cake.

Already well ahead overall, after dismissing the tourists' for 134 on the first day, New Zealand got to stumps at 447 for nine, 313 runs ahead with three days remaining.

Only Brendon McCullum, with the world record 54-ball ton against Australia in Christchurch early last year, has made a faster century for New Zealand than the Zimbabwe-born de Grandhomme. He needed only 27 deliveries for his second 50.

In his seventh test, he went to his century with a four, then three to third man, raising his arms and bat to salute the crowd. He sits ninth equal overall for fastest test centuries with former West Indies opener Roy Fredericks, who made his against Australia at Perth in 1976.

De Grandhomme's 105 came off 74 balls, with 11 fours and three sixes in a thrilling display of clean ball striking.

He had debutant wicketkeeper Tom Blundell for company and the gloveman, replacing the injured BJ Watling, displayed a high degree of confidence to go with a strong pull shot and his lively, busy manner and assertive strokeplay helped drain the West Indies' spirit.

Their stand of 148 is a new seventh-wicket record for New Zealand against the West Indies, eclipsing the old mark of 143 by Martin Crowe and Ian Smith at Guyana in 1985.

Blundell became the third New Zealand wicketkeeper to make a half century on debut, after McCullum and Luke Ronchi, and was unbeaten on 57 at stumps.

Earlier senior New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor fell seven short of joining his captain Kane Williamson and Crowe at the top of New Zealand's test centurymakers.

Taylor was out for 93, leg before wicket to West Indian fast bowler Kemar Roach late in the middle session.

It would have been Taylor's 17th hundred, and his fourth against the West Indies, after making one in each test of the 2013 tour of New Zealand.

Umpire Rod Tucker gave Taylor not out to an lbw appeal, but the West Indies referred the appeal and TV showed Taylor, pushing forward, would have been out.

He was already walking back towards the pavilion before the finger was raised.

His dismissal ended a 127-run stand for the fourth wicket with lefthander Henry Nicholls.

Taylor's innings, which included 10 fours, was laced with snappy cuts, vigorous back foot shots to the leg side and pleasing drives and there seemed an inevitability about the century until Roach struck for his third wicket of the innings.

He got his runs off 160 balls with 10 fours. Taylor also passed 10,000 first class runs during the innings and 14,000 runs in all international cricket for New Zealand.

By tea, the advantage was 133, after Nicholls had completed his fifth half century and de Grandhomme and Blundell then put the foot down against a tiring attack.

The only bright part of the day for the West Indies came when impressive seamer Miguel Cummins dismissed Nicholls and Mitchell Santner in quick succession.

Canterbury lefthander Nicholls was off the mark whipping a four to fine leg first ball, off Roach and was generally assertive in his batting.

Nicholls did have a big stroke of luck to his first ball after lunch, edging a catch to the wicketkeeper off Jason Holder, only to find the bowler had overstepped the mark. Then on 24, he made the best of his letoff.

The West Indies were guilty of letting the game slip during the first session when they were still very much in the contest. They appeared to have given up the challenge too early.

Roach was the most successful bowler, with three for 73 but Cummins was the pick, finishing with two for 74 while offspinner Royston Chase has two for 83.

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