Dec. 12, 2020, 1:19 p.m.
Jermaine Backwood stood tall for West Indies in the face of intense pressure from the New Zealand bowling quartet, on the second day of the second Test at the Basin Reserve.
The pint-size batsman showed his prowess with a pugnacious half-century, but no other batsman reached 15, as the visitors slipped to 124-8 at the close of the day after the home team capitalized on several fielding lapses to post an imposing 460.
Another top-order batting collapse left West Indies in tatters at 29-4, before Blackwood entered and scored a forthright 69 to follow up his second innings century last week. His first 30 runs came off just 21 balls with six boundaries and he then buckled down in a half century partnership with Shamarh Brooks, who made 14, as he batted for over two hours and came off 92 balls.
Brooks was patient, and complemented Blackwood’s attacking instincts, but he misjudged a giant inswinger and was bowled offering no stroke to Kyle Jamieson, who has taken five wickets for 34 runs so far. The innings then nose-dived from 97-4 as West Indies lost fours quick wickets for 20 runs.
Earlier, Henry Nicholls posted his highest Test score of 174 for the home side who resumed on 294-6 overnight. The Black Caps maintained their momentum during the first session as Jamieson (20) and Tim Southee (11) kept Nicholls company before both fell to Alzarri Joseph (3-109). Tail-ender Neil Wagner, smashed an unbeaten 66 from only 42 balls as he helped Nicholls add 95 for the ninth wicket from only 73 balls.
Wagner hit eight fours and four sixes and reached his maiden half-century before spinner Roston Chase (2-54) finally broke the stand, having Nicholls caught at cover and then removing last man Trent Boult to end the innings.