The West Indies completed an emphatic nine-wicket victory at North Sound to take a 1-0 lead in this two-test series against New Zealand. The tourists were unable to fulfill the promise of their laudable fourth day performance and fell for 272, leaving the hosts the straightforward task of scoring 102 for victory.
New Zealand will enter tomorrows fifth and final day of the first test at North Sound with a chance of avoiding defeat. Their fortunes, of course, will depend on their captain Ross Taylor and the batsmen to come, but the conscientious batting of their top order has placed them in a position to save the game.
Led by centuries from Chris Gayle and Kieran Powell the West Indies proceeded to tighten the screws on a hapless New Zealand. At stumps the score was 442, and with Narsingh Deaonarine on 54, accompanied by the aggressive Darren Sammy on 8, the West Indies will be hoping to grow the 91 run lead to well past 200 on the fourth day.
It would have been reasonable to assume that after not playing in whites for a year and a half that Chris Gayle would have gradually eased himself into the test game. But anyone who harboured such thoughts would have been taken aback by the way he went out to bat on today's second day at North Sound.
The West Indies claimed two late wickets to place themselves on level terms with the visitors at stumps on todays first day at North Sound. On a very pedestrian day when the spectators who ventured to the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium would have struggled to stay awake, Martin Guptil scored a painstaking 97 to guide New Zealand to 232/4.
West Indies have named a 13-man squad for the 1st Test against New Zealand at North Sound. Swashbuckling opener Chris Gayle has forced his way back in the Test Team. The last time Gayle played in the Whites for West Indies was in 2010 in a tour of Sri Lanka.