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Tons by Chris Gayle and Kieran Powell put West Indies on top – 1st Test vs. New Zealand

Zia Rana July 27, 2012

West Indies first innings 442-6 (Chris Gayle 150, Kieran Powell 134, Kane Williamson 2-47) leads New Zealand first innings 351 (Martin Guptill 97, Ross Taylor 45, Sunil Narine 5-132) by 91 runs.

Chris Gayle made his return in Test cricket with a bang by plundering 150 runs vs. New Zealand and the maiden century by Kieran Powell put West Indies in command.

New Zealand scored 351 runs in the first innings and West Indies amassed 442 runs for the loss of six wickets at stumps on day three.

Chris Gayle - Return to the Test arena with a bang

Chris Gayle – Return to the Test arena with a bang

The third day of the first Test concluded on Friday, July 27, 2012, at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, North Sound, Antigua.

Earlier, the Windies started their first innings on the third day at their overnight score of 145 without any loss in 48 overs. Chris Gayle and Kieran Powell were unbeaten for 85 and 58 runs respectively. The proceedings were slow from the two batsmen as they scored just nine runs in the first six overs. Gayle hit the first flying boundary in the 55th over and completed his 14th Test ton on the first ball of the 57th over with a huge six over midwicket.

Powell kept on creeping at the other end and tasted his first four of the day in the 60th over as Gayle continued with his aggressive style. The first opened up in the 63rd over, added 10 runs with a couple of fours and the 200 of the innings also appeared on board. Gayle did not believe in compromising and punched 10 runs in the 65th over with two fours and was dropped again at 142 in the 70th over. Lunch was taken after the 72nd over when the home side had scored 245 runs, Chris Gayle was playing at 146 and Kieran Powell was four short of his hundred.

Powell smashed his maiden Test century on the last ball of the 74th over with a rolling boundary by pulling the ball through square leg. The tortured opening partnership for the visitors came to an end when Gayle was caught by Brendon McCullum off Kane Williamson for 150 off 206 balls with 4 towering sixes and 17 fours.

The openers contributed a mammoth partnership of 254 runs as Assad Fudadin joined in with Powell. The duo kept the score board moving with odd boundaries as Powell became violent in the 89th over and hit three consecutive fours. He was gone on the fourth ball after thrashing 134 runs off 288 balls with 1 six and 22 fours.

Marlon Samuel played a hurried knock of 29 with 1 six and 4 fours and became the third victim at 355 runs. The most experienced batsman of the Caribbeans, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, got a first ball duck as Narsingh Deonarine came in the centre. Fudadin gathered nine runs in the 108th over comprising two fours and the batsmen could score just nine runs in the next six overs.

Assad Fudadin attained his maiden fifty in the 116th over as Deonarine kept on accumulating runs from the other end. They shared a 55 runs partnership and took the score to 410 when Fudadin was caught behind by McCullum off Chris Martin for 55 runs. Deonarine completed his fifty in the 137th over, he was still at the crease for 54 and Darren Sammy was at the other end at 8. The home team reached 442 after 138 overs with six wickets in hand at the close of the third day’s play.

Chris Martin and Kane Williamson were the most successful bowlers with two wickets each whereas Doug Bracewell and Neil Wagner claimed one wicket each.

West Indies have gained a first innings lead of 91 runs and they will anticipate another 50-75 runs to have a tight grip on the match whereas New Zealand would like to wipe off the tail quickly on the fourth day.

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