Chanderpaul hits record 17th unbeaten test century
Patched-up spin attack gives West Indies the edge over New Zealand
Shivnarine Chanderpaul’s record 17th unbeaten test cricket century and a master class from a patched-up spin attack gave the West Indies the edge over New Zealand as they chased a series-levelling win in Hamilton on Friday.
Chanderpaul’s 122 not out, overtaking Sachin Tendulkar’s record and putting him sixth on the all-time scorers’ list, left the tourists at 367 all out before New Zealand finished day two of the third test on 156-3.
Ross Taylor, seeking his third century in as many tests, was on 56 and Brendon McCullum was on 11 after New Zealand lost openers Hamish Rutherford and Peter Fulton cheaply.
Taylor shared a 95-run partnership with Kane Williamson (58), the second victim for Sunil Narine who was called into the side after Shane Shillingford’s ban for an illegal action.
The many variations in the twin spin assault of Narine and Veerasammy Permaul caused multiple problems for the New Zealand batsmen, who struggled to read the turning ball.
Williamson, playing on his home wicket, said the spin was not expected when New Zealand won the toss.
“Hence why we bowled first. I’ve never seen it spin like that but that’s the card we’ve been dealt and we’ve needed to turn up with a change of game plan as a batting unit to face a lot spin on a wicket that’s very much conducive to spin bowling.”
The quirky style of Narine was particularly troublesome, he added.
“He’s very tough to pick. You can see it at times but he bowls at such a pace it’s very hard to adjust your shot.”
But the real honours for the West Indies lay with Chanderpaul, who came to the rescue and rewrote the record books into the bargain when the tourists were in trouble at 86-5 on the first day.
His 200-run partnership with Denesh Ramdin (107) and late cameo stands with Permaul (20) and Tino Best (25) gave the West Indies a respectable total to defend.
When Chanderpaul reached his 29th test hundred by smacking Tim Southee past gully to the boundary, he immediately went down on his knees to kiss the pitch.
It was a gesture to celebrate the hundred as well as the achievement of batting his team out of trouble as the West Indies, 1-0 down in the series, fight to win the third and final Test.
“We talk about what we’re going to do and how we’re going to execute our plans and I was really happy that we were able to do it,” he said.
“I wish we had a wicket as good as this in the Caribbean but we don’t.”
Chanderpaul’s 122 not out lifted him to 11,199 runs from his 153 tests, overtaking Allan Border (11,174) as the sixth most prolific run-scoring test batsmen, and 754 behind fifth-placed Brian Lara.