About the Match
What a comeback it was for West Indies to win the 2nd test after the 186 run drubbing in the 1st and thus leveling the 3-match test series 1-1 against the Kiwis! The two teams will meet each other for the decider on June 26th at Bridgetown. New Zealand adopted the same tactics of batting first after winning the toss in the second match but the home team had a different story to unveil at the Queens Park Oval by making some changes in their line up and thus crushing the visitors by 10 wickets. It will surely be an exciting finish as both teams try to come out all guns blazing to seal victory here.
They made one change by replacing Fulton by Rutherford who failed to survive in both the innings, opening with Latham, becoming victim to Taylor both times. Latham, Williamson, Neesham and Taylor held the innings quite efficiently but it was Craig who made an outstanding effort to stem the rot by holding on even after 8 wickets down at 212 from 99.3 overs. Though they did not collapse under pressure to the lethal bowling attack by the West Indies pacers with super support from the field, they did not have the capacity to avoid the inevitable. Failure of Rutherford and McCullum seemed to be the cause for the defeat; the Kiwis will have to find answers to this to reverse the trend in the decider.
West Indies made two changes in their batting line-up by bringing in Brathwaite to open the innings with Gayle and taking one more specialist batsmen to strengthen the middle order by replacing Shillingford. Leading the attack, Taylor claimed 4 wickets at a good economical rate giving away only 34 runs in just 17.5 overs, 5 of which were maidens, followed by Benn with 3 wickets. Giving able support, Gabriel and Roach chipped in to reduce the visitors to 221 in the 1st innings in just 74.4 overs, in spite of stiff resistance by the opponents. Ramdin was outstanding on field accounting for 5 dismissals when the Kiwis were attempting to make a comeback in the 2nd innings, firstly catching Williamson and Taylor, and later dismissing Craig to reduce the visitors to 311 for 9 off 142.4 overs. Brathwaite smashed a swash buckling century in reply to the opponents total of 221,and went on to make 129 making partnerships by rotating strikes with others till he was dismissed by Boult at No.5, after Bravo was dismissed for a well made 109. Blackwood, who came at No.8 in his maiden test appearance, made 63 to hoist an imposing total in the 1st essay; Brathwaite repeated his performance and was not separated from Gayle who played a dominating role in getting the 92 runs for the win. West Indies may continue to retain the same side at Bridgetown and repeat their winning performance.
The West Indies having equalized the series 1-1 and though the Kiwis have shown great determination and is expected to strike back stronger. West Indies showed great promise and determination in the second test while opening slot appears to be a big worry for the hosts. I think that the home side will utilize their resources to make it 2-1 in their favor in the 3rd and final test.
New Zealand, 3.00 @ Bet365
The biggest worry for the sides have been their batting as the men from Caribbean islands struggled in first test and home team suffered the same fate in the second test. However, Kane Williamson stood tall and scored consistently in both the tests and looked comfortable. Being in prime form, I think he will be the best batsman for the home side.
Top New Zealand Batsman:
Kane Williamson, 3.00 @ Bet365