BLACKCAPS claim first Test

The BLACKCAPS have completed a 27-run victory over West Indies in the first Test of The National Bank Series at Auckland’s Eden Park.

Shane Bond inspired a fine comeback victory with five wickets after the tourists were in a strong position on day four.

The visitors began the day 45 runs short of their 291 target with two wickets in hand, but were quickly dismissed to seal victory.

Bradshaw and Taylor put on five in the first five overs of the morning but the elder man, having made an otherwise solid debut at Test level, lasted no longer.

Having scored 10, the left hander was caught at silly point by Fleming off Daniel Vettori.

And Bond took Jerome Taylor (13) to claim five for 69 and seal victory.

Scott Styris was the key figure on day one with an unbeaten 103 and two wickets.

The all-rounder extended a string of excellent performances at Eden Park by helping his side to 275 from a precarious 69 for four.

The tourists were removed for 257 before tea on day two, Chris Martin taking three wickets and Shane Bond and Daniel Vettori emulating Styris’ day one haul.

Bond accounted for the dangerous Brian Lara for five while Ramnaresh Sarwan topped the scoring with 63.

On day three, Brendon McCullum made 74 to help the BLACKCAPS to 272, a lead of 290.

The wicketkeeper compiled important half-century partnerships with Daniel Vettori (52) and Shane Bond, who was 18 not out from 81 balls.

The tourists’ openers began their run chase well, though, accumulating 148 by mid-afternoon on day four after rain washed out the morning session.

But Shane Bond and Nathan Astle led the counter attack, the paceman claiming four wickets and the all-rounder two as the Kiwis came back to reduce the West Indies to 246 for eight at stumps.

Openers Ganga (95) and Gayle (82) were removed and Bond took Lara first ball as a collapse ensued before play was halted for bad light, with the tourists on 246 for eight.

But the home side quickly removed the tail-enders to complete a fine victory. The BLACKCAPS can seal the series with victory in the second Test at Wellington’s Basin Reserve.

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