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Craig spins New Zealand to massive win

Offspinner takes 4 for 97 as West Indies crashes to 186-run defeat in first Test, giving New Zealand its second win on West Indies soil

Craig spins New Zealand to massive win - Cricket News
Mark Craig returned figures of 4 for 97 in the second innings.

New Zealand offspinner Mark Craig took 4 for 97 to complete a match haul of eight wickets in a fantastic debut as New Zealand bowled West Indies out for 216 on and secured a 186-run win in the first Test at Sabina Park in Jamaica on Thursday (June 12). 

The win was only New Zealand’s second in the 16 Tests it has played on West Indies soil, and it takes a 1-0 lead in the three-Test series.

West Indies’ second innings, on the fourth day of the Test, was marked only by a last-wicket partnership worth 82 between Suliemann Benn (25) and Shane Shillingford (53), with Shillingford racing to the fastest Test half-century by a West Indies player. Having come in with their team on 134 for 9, they did well to take their team past the 200-run mark. However, the flourish came too late for the hosts.

Tim Southee started things off well for New Zealand, with his double strike putting the opposition on the backfoot early in the second innings. Fresh off a four-wicket haul in the first innings where he claimed 4 for 19, Southee quickly accounted for both the West Indies openers. Powell was the first to be dismissed as he was caught by Latham to depart without scoring. Gayle, who crossed the 7000-run mark with a boundary to get off the mark, fell in Southee’s next over when he was caught behind.

Craig bowled well on a wearing pitch, accounting for the wickets of Kirk Edwards, Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels, and Kemar Roach. He found good support from Ish Sodhi, the legspinner, who picked up the important wicket of Shivnarine Chanderpaul, before accounting for captain Denesh Ramdin and Jerome Taylor.

Earlier, New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum declared his team’s second innings at 156 for 8. Tom Latham, the opener, made a gritty half-century – he scored a 181-ball 73 – his second in the match, and stood out for New Zealand.  

Taylor and Roach, who opened the bowling for West Indies, worked well in tandem, finishing with figures of 3 for 28 and 2 for 12, respectively. Shillingford, the offspinner, who took three wickets in the first innings, returned figures of 2 for 39 in 13 overs.

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