Windies salvage improbable draw

Blackpool Citizen: Darren Bravo struck a double century for the Windies (AP) Darren Bravo struck a double century for the Windies (AP)

Darren Bravo, Shane Shillingford and the Dunedin weather combined to deny New Zealand what had seemed a near certain victory over West Indies as the first Test ended in a draw.

No play was possible after tea, leaving the Black Caps 79 for four in their pursuit of a victory target of 112, with Shillingford (four for 26) responsible for all four wickets.

It was Bravo, though, who was the tourists' real hero as his double-century, brought to an end on the final morning at 218, took the match into a final day which had looked highly unlikely and allowed the rain to do its thing.

When Bravo fell on the final morning, captain Darren Sammy (80) took over to help his side stretch their second-innings total to 507 before being dismissed shortly before lunch.

With rain around, that left New Zealand desperately trying to beat the elements, but in the 30 available overs they managed just 79, hampered in part by Shillingford's fine bowling, but also a conservative run rate - in particular from first-innings hero Ross Taylor.

Shillingford set the tone before lunch as he had Peter Fulton caught behind, a decision given via DRS, to leave New Zealand three for one from the mini-session available after the tourists had been dismissed.

It got worse after the break as Aaron Redmond tucked Shillingford straight to leg slip, then Hamish Rutherford launched the spinner to Shannon Gabriel at long-on.

When Brendon McCullum's top-edged sweep went straight up in the air and was caught by Denesh Ramdin, Shillingford had single-handedly reduced the Black Caps to 44 for four.

Corey Anderson and Taylor then steadied the ship, but failed to keep the scoreboard ticking over and that proved costly as the weather took the players from the pitch for tea five minutes early and they never returned.

Taylor, who scored an unbeaten 217 in the first innings, managed just 16 runs from 61 balls as New Zealand were left to ponder whether they could have accelerated their innings more effectively.

West Indies began the day 47 runs ahead after being asked to follow on 386 in arrears midway through day three.

Bravo's maiden Test double-century meant they at least went into the final day with some hope of pulling off a memorable draw.

That bid was therefore dealt a significant blow when Trent Boult snuck a delivery through Bravo's defences in just the third over of the day.

Sammy took up the fight though in a counter-punching innings that had him in sight of just a second Test century.

The all-rounder added 38 for the eighth wicket with Shillingford, and at one point launched leg-spinner Ish Sodhi for six, before his partner edged Neil Wagner, who took three for 112, to slip.

Sammy had reached 80 with two wickets still in hand, and in sight of lunch as well as three figures, only for the last two wickets to fall with the score on 507.

Wagner squared up Tino Best to induce another edge that Taylor pouched.

With New Zealand taking the third new ball, Sammy tried to take the long handle but only served to spoon a catch off Tim Southee to end the innings.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree