Left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn starred for West Indies in the opening day of the third Test match as New Zealand were bundled for 293 in Barbados on Thursday.
Benn was the wrecker-in-chief and finished with impressive figures of five for 93, while pacer Kemar Roach ripped through the Kiwi top-order and claimed four wickets. Benn, however, was not satisfied with his performance and said he had bowled better in the previous matches.
"I think this is the worst I have bowled for this series," Benn said. "In saying that, I worked hard through the series, so probably the results came today. If someone had said we would bowl them out for 280-290 and be batting on the first day, you would take that."
The opening pair continued to remain a problem for the Black Caps as they lost Tom Latham (14) and Hamish Rutherford (4) early on in the first session. Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor built a 74-run partnership for the third wicket to help the visitors recover from early jolts.
Benn broke the partnership when he sent Williamson (43) back to the pavilion. Next to depart was Taylor (45), who was caught by Benn of Roach, followed by skipper Brendon McCullum (31) and BJ Watling (1).
"I know on the first day in Barbados you always get a bit of assistance, because of the moisture in the pitch," Benn said. "It spun in the evening as well. Normally it does a bit first day, and rest of the days it flattens out."
"You get a little bit, obviously when the balls get older it tends to be good for batting. Kensington Oval always has bounce for spinners," he added. "So you want to get the ball into good areas. A little bit of turn also, so that was good."
James Neesham was the standout performer for the Black Caps and made a 64-run partnership with Mark Craig (46 not out) for the eighth wicket when the visitors were reeling at 194 for seven. Neesham thrashed the Windies bowlers all over the park en route to his 91-ball 78.
The southpaw showed that he is capable of batting higher up the order, which could end Kiwis' top-order woes. Neesham's counterattack helped New Zealand post a respectable total on the board but he fell short of triple figures because of a mix-up with Craig and was run out.
"Anytime you get to the 60s or 70s, you start looking at that mark," Neesham pointed out. "It was a little bit disappointing, the mix-up between me and Mark, called at the same time and there was a little bit of miscommunication going on but I'll take that on my shoulders. It was probably my call. It was a little bit disappointing to get out that way, but I think you'd move and get on with the rest of the game."
The left-hander, however, was disappointed as the visitors failed to cross the 300-run mark. Neesham said they fell 20-30 runs short from what could have been a competitive first innings total on a lively Bridgetown pitch.
"I think we were a bit short. I think if we had got north of anywhere between 320-330, it would have been a really good effort," Neesham said. "So to fall 20 or 30 short is a little bit disappointing but there's a lot in it for the bowlers and if we get a couple out early, it will be interesting."
Where to Watch Live
The 3rd Test Day 2 is scheduled for a 10:00 am local (7:30 pm IST, 2:00 pm GMT) start with live coverage on Ten Cricket and Ten HD in India. Catch ball-by-ball update of the match online HERE. Catch the action live on TV on Sky Sports 2 in New Zealand, while viewers can also live stream the action HERE. Viewers in the US can watch the game on Willow TV while the action can also be live streamed HERE or HERE. Watch the match in Caribbean on Sports Max, while South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa viewers can view the match on SuperSport and live online HERE.