Daniel Richardson

Daniel Richardson is a Wellington-based sports journalist for NZME. News Service.

Cricket: Martin taking time to fire up the legs

Chris Martin picked up two wickets in as many balls on day three of New Zealand's test against the West Indies. Photo / Getty Images.
Chris Martin picked up two wickets in as many balls on day three of New Zealand's test against the West Indies. Photo / Getty Images.

You can expect the elder statesman of New Zealand's seam bowling unit to bring a bit more zip in the second test against the West Indies in Jamaica on Friday.

Chris Martin greased up his 37-year-old pins last weekend in New Zealand's three-day tour match against the West Indies Cricket Board President's XI as he got through 21 wicket-less overs.

It was the first time he had played a competitive game since March - New Zealand's final test of the home summer against South Africa was his most recent outing - so there would have been a fair bit of ring rust in the evergreen seamer.

He went in to the ongoing first test against the West Indies with 226 wickets, or "poles" as he so often calls them, from 68 tests after he made his debut against South Africa in late 2000.

The Christchurch-born right-armer picked up two wickets in as many balls on day three of New Zealand's test against the West Indies at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua this morning (sat) as he breathed life in to the visitors' bowling effort.

He removed Marlon Samuels and the experienced Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Martin said he was better for the lengthy spell at the crease where he was expensive by his standards.

"I'm reasonably patient but I was starting to get a little bit impatient by lunch. But getting overs in the legs is always something I've needed to do, but preferably not in the test match," Martin said.

"So I think I'm hopefully over that hurdle and I've got a few more poles in me next time I get out there."

The West Indies closed day three on 442-6 with a 91-run lead after New Zealand were bowled out for 351 on day two.

Destructive West Indies opener Chris Gayle blasted 150 for the home side, while fellow opener Kieran Powell registered his maiden test century as he scored 134.

The pair put on 254 for the first wicket before part-time off-spinner Kane Williamson finally removed Gayle when he was caught by Brendon McCullum.

Gayle, who was dropped by Daniel Flynn on day two when he was on 36 said he wanted to make the most of his opportunity to bat after he had spent a long time in field.

"Once you give a batter a chance you've got to make sure you let them pay for it and that's what I did. Getting a second lifeline I wanted to punish them for that as well. In test cricket I've dropped catches when guys have gone on to get big hundreds so it's a tough thing. So when you get that chance as a batter you try and bottle down a bit more and get even tighter and you dig deeper and score as many runs as possible with that chance."

New Zealand looked at one point like they were going to concede a huge total but four wickets in the final session - including Martin's two - brought them back within striking distance of keeping the West Indies to a manageable score.

- APNZ

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