Rol­lick­ing de Grand­homme ton leaves Windies reel­ing

Sunday Times (Sri Lanka) - - COMMENT -

WELLING­TON, Dec 2, 2017 (AFP) - New Zealand all-rounder Colin de Grand­homme cracked his maiden Test cen­tury off just 71 balls to leave the West Indies reel­ing at stumps on the sec­ond day of the first Test in Welling­ton on Satur­day.

It was the ninth fastest Test cen­tury of all time as de Grand­homme, in only his sev­enth Test, made light of a tir­ing at­tack and plun­dered the boundary on a de­mor­al­is­ing day for the West Indies.

At stumps New Zealand were 447 for nine, hold­ing a 313-run lead after the West Indies were rolled for 134 in their first in­nings.

De Grand­homme was out for 105 after a rol­lick­ing in­nings that in­cluded three sixes and 11 fours.

Se­nior bats­man Ross Tay­lor and Henry Ni­cholls set the stage for an all-out at­tack with their 127run stand for the fourth wicket which led to de Grand­homme and Tom Blun­dell adding 148 for the sev­enth.

There was no sign of nerves from the debu­tant Blun­dell who was un­beaten on 57 at stumps to go with Tay­lor's 93 and 66 for Ni­cholls on a day in which New Zealand scored 362 runs, lost seven wick­ets and left the West Indies ex­hausted.

De Grand­homme, who went to the crease when Ni­cholls was dis­missed on the sec­ond ball after tea, used the first de­liv­ery he faced from Miguel Cum­mins as a sighter and then smacked bound­aries off the next two.

It was big hit­ting with min­i­mal risk as he raced to 99 and then reached his mile­stone cen­tury steer­ing a Cum­mins de­liv­ery wide of point for three.

But in the fol­low­ing over he was de­ceived by a slower ball from Ros­ton Chase which was chipped to Kieran Pow­ell at long on. - Short-ball tac­tics - Tay­lor was clos­ing in on his 17th cen­tury to equal the New Zealand record held by his men­tor, the late Martin Crowe, and cur­rent cap­tain Kane Wil­liamson, when he fell lbw to Ke­mar Roach shortly be­fore tea.

The ini­tial ap­peal was turned down by Aus­tralian um­pire Rod Tucker with two noises heard as the ball went through sug­gest­ing a pos­si­ble in­side edge.

But the West Indies were con­fi­dent in their call for a video re­view which clearly showed only the pad had been hit and the ball was an­gling to­wards the stumps, mean­ing Tay­lor's 160-ball in­nings was over.

Ni­cholls had a re­prieve on the third ball after the lunch break when he was caught be­hind off a poorly ex­e­cuted pull shot, only for video re­plays to show the Ja­son Holder de­liv­ery was a no ball.

But there was no such luck on the sec­ond ball after the tea ad­journ­ment when he con­nected with the pull shot only to steer the ball to Shan­non Gabriel who fum­bled the catch at fine leg be­fore se­cur­ing it on the sec­ond at­tempt.

After re­sum­ing the day at 85 for two, Jeet Raval was the first wicket to fall when he was caught be­hind off Roach for 42 in the 10th over of the morn­ing while Tay­lor went nine overs be­fore tea.

For most of the day Windies skip­per Ja­son Holder placed de­fen­sive fields with a lim­ited cor­don be­hind the stumps as he em­ployed the short­ball tac­tics which had worked to good ef­fect for New Zealand the pre­vi­ous day when Neil Wag­ner took seven for 39.

The most suc­cess­ful of the West Indies bowlers was Roach with three for 73 while Cum­mins and Chase and two apiece.

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