Kyle Jamieson has made a reputation in his short test cricket career for New Zealand as a man who makes things happen. (More Cricket News)
He enhanced that reputation Saturday on the second day of the second test, taking 5-34 as New Zealand had the West Indies 124-8 at stumps in reply to its first innings of 460. The tourists need 136 to avoid the follow on.
It was Jamieson’s second five wicket bag in only five tests in which he has increased his claim to the designation “allrounder” with a half a century and two innings of 40 or more.
Drama seems to attend everything Jamieson does in the test arena. He took two West Indies wickets with consecutive deliveries in his opening over Saturday — a double wicket maiden — and narrowly missed a hattrick when his appeal for lbw from the next ball was turned down.
The on-field umpire denied the appeal, with it the hattrick, and his decision was confirmed when the television official saw replays that showed the ball just clipping leg stump. An lbw appeal from the following, which might have given Jamieson the consolation of three wickets from four balls, was also refused.
The tall right-armer then broke a 68-run fifth-wicket partnership between Jermaine Blackwood and Shamarh Brooks to re-establish the ascendancy New Zealand had held through most of the second day.
He completed his five-wicket bag late in the day with the wickets of West Indies captain Jason Holder (9) and Alzarri Joseph.
First test century-maker Blackwood, who survived Jamieson’s hattrick ball, again provided most resistance among the West Indies’ batting lineup but was out shortly before stumps for 69.
Tim Southee, who began the decline of the West Indies’ innings with the early wickets of Kraigg Brathwaite and Darren Bravo, removed Blackwood and ended the day with 3-29 from 16 overs.
Earlier, Henry Nicholls and Neil Wagner posted their highest test scores and shared a 95-run partnership for the ninth wicket which allowed New Zealand to lift its overnight total of 294-6 to 460.
Nicholls batted for five minutes more than seven hours and was the last man out for 174, beating his previous test-best of 162 against Sri Lanka. Wagner was left not out on 66 after celebrating his 50th test with his maiden half century.
Nicholls’ marathon stay at the crease provided the thread that bound together the New Zealand innings after it lost the toss and was sent in on a green pitch on Friday.
New Zealand was 78-3 when Nicholls came to the wicket, with the West Indies bowlers holding the upper hand and making good use of the pitch’s pace, bounce and seam.
He struggled for much of his innings in those difficult, sometimes hostile conditions and he was dropped three times — twice at first slip when he was 47 — before he finally reached his first half century in 14 innings.
Having gone through that trial of character, he dug himself in and went on to his first century in three years, providing the solid anchor around which the rest of the New Zealand batsmen could work.
He had partnerships of 70 with Will Young, 55 with B.J. Watling, 83 with Daryl Mitchell and 50 with Jamieson before his most profitable association with Wagner whose unbeaten 66 included eight fours and four sixes.
“It was a pretty grafty knock from Henry (Nicholls) and obviously he had to graft for long periods of time,” Wagner said. “I love batting with Henry and I told him that out there and at the end.
"Every time I’ve batted with him I seem to score runs. He played some nice shots, he got himself in and he made it count on a pretty tough surface.”