Bridgetown (Barbados), June 26 :
Fast bowler Kemar Roach struck twice but New Zealand recovered from a dodgy start to make a strong finish to the opening session on the first day of the third and decisive cricket Test against West Indies on Thursday.
At lunch at Kensington Oval, the Black Caps reached 95 for two after winning the toss, with Kane Williamson (40) and Ross Taylor (34) at the crease.
He had Hamish Rutherford (4) caught at mid-on, lazily driving an innocuous delivery to Shiv Chanderpaul, in the fourth over of the morning with the score on 17.
Left-hander Tom Latham followed soon afterward in Roach’s fifth over, lbw for 14, to one that hurried onto him as he got neither back nor forward.
Two overs earlier, the batsman was handed a reprieve thanks to DRS. He was given out lbw to Roach but replays showed the ball pitching out outside leg.
Roach has taken two for 18.
Both Williamson and Taylor came together to carry New Zealand to the safety of lunch, playing positively against the pace and spin attack. Williamson has faced 61 deliveries and counted seven fours while Taylor has batted 52 balls and struck six fours.
Williamson, especially, has grown in confidence, collecting back-to-back boundaries off fast bowler Jerome Taylor after he switched ends following the first water break. The first was whipped through mid-wicket and the second punched through cover.
In left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn’s third over, Williamson also collected two boundaries — first pulling through mid-wicket and then driving through mid-on.
The Black Caps have made one change to their XI from the second Test, bringing in seamer Neil Wagner for leg-spinner Ish Sodhi.
West Indies have made two changes, replacing Jermaine Blackwood and Shannon Gabriel with Shane Shillingford and Jason Holder.
The 22-year-old Holder is making his Test debut.
New Zealand won the first Test by 186 runs inside four days at Sabina Park before West Indies levelled the series with a ten-wicket victory in the second Test at Queen’s Park Oval.
New Zealand: 95 for two (Kane Williamson 40 not out, Ross Taylor 34 not out; Kemar Roach 2-18) vs West Indies.