Strong start, weak finish for BlackCaps
Thu, 26 Jul 2012 6:48p.m.
By Andrew Gourdie
There were mixed fortunes for the BlackCaps on the opening day of the first test against the West Indies.
At the close of play New Zealand are on top at 232 for four, but they suffered a disappointing end to the day thanks to their one-day nemesis.
Victories have been rare for the BlackCaps and the West Indies winning the toss and choosing to bat in Antigua might be the key to ending their tour on a high.
After a patient start, Daniel Flynn and Martin Guptill set a solid platform for the BlackCaps as they climbed into the Windies pace attack.
The introduction of spin king Sunil Narine didn't trouble Guptill as New Zealand reached 71 without loss at lunch but in just his second test, Narine made the breakthrough when play resumed - Flynn out for 45.
His replacement Brendon McCullum still appeared to be in one-day mode during a short - but eventful - stay at the crease
His attempts to fight fire with fire ended on 25.
Guptill looked comfortable as he stroked his way past 50, and he was joined at the crease by Ross Taylor; the pair put together a 90 run partnership that put New Zealand back on top.
Chris Gayle making use of his frequent trips to the boundary, but they won't have loved what followed.
Narine piled on the pressure as he rediscovered the form that earned him 13 wickets during the one day series.
With less than half an hour to go he produced a stunning double blow.
Taylor was the first to go for 45, before Guptill needlessly threw his wicket away just three runs short of his third test century.
A frustrating end to the day but one which ultimately belonged to New Zealand.
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