NZ, Windies Test evenly poised

Auckland, March 10:

The outcome of the first Test between New Zealand and the West Indies hung on a knife edge on the second day, but an outright result seemed inevitable as wickets tumbled regularly.

New Zealand held a 116-run lead, but with only six second innings wickets in hand and first innings century-maker Scott Styris already back in the pavillion.

After dismissing the West Indies for 257 in their first innings, New Zealand claimed a slender 18-run lead. New Zealand were 98 for four in their second innings.

Opener Hamish Marshall fell cheaply, and just when Jamie How and Peter Fulton offered some hope by carrying the score through to 66 for one, the West Indies broke through with three quick wickets.

Stephen Fleming had progressed to 19 by stumps with night watchman James Franklin on three.

Ramnaresh Sarwan and Dwayne Bravo had threatened to carry the West Indies to a first innings advantage in their reply to New Zealand’s 275. They salvaged an early collapse to put on 89 runs for the sixth wicket before Sarwan was dismiss by Shane Bond on 62. Bond also dismissed Lara for five.

Chanderpaul (13) nicked a delivery heading down leg side from James Franklin and was caught by wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum.

Dwayne Smith and Bravo added a 58 runs to take the West Indies within striking distance of the Kiwis total.

But the dismissal of Bravo for 59 took the sting out of the innings and spinner Daniel Vettori mopped up the tail with two wickets for seven runs from seven overs.