Cricket: Black Caps throw away positive start

New Zealand have again been guilty of failing to convert decent starts on the first day of the second test against the West Indies at Sabina Park in Kingston.

The West Indies' dangerous opening pair of Chris Gayle and Kieran Powell safely negotiated five overs before stumps as their side finished on 11 without loss in reply to New Zealand's 260 all out.

Poor-decision making again plagued the New Zealanders after they lost the toss and were put into bat. Martin Guptill scored his third consecutive half century but was run out on 71 and Ross Taylor was loose in being dismissed for 60 after showing he was in good touch.

Seamer Kemar Roach was the main beneficiary, picking up 4-70 after a good performance in his side's crushing victory in the first test at Antigua.

Already missing the experienced Dan Vettori, with a groin strain, and opener Daniel Flynn with the same injury, New Zealand were always going to be up against it. Flynn had contributed innings of 45 and 20 in the first test, a nine-wicket loss for the Black Caps.

Opener Guptill and Taylor came together at 12-2 following the cheap dismissals of BJ Watling (2) and Brendon McCullum, who scored a four-ball duck, and both looked comfortable.

Taylor was quick to take advantage of loose bowling - he hit 10 fours in his innings which lasted 100 balls. Guptill was just as aggressive, hitting two massive sixes, as well as six fours.

After safely seeing the Black Caps through to 74-2 at lunch, captain Taylor picked up the pace and was particularly harsh on anything short.

However, a Tino Best delivery cramped him and he was caught behind the wicket. Guptill was run out when attempting a quick single with Kruger van Wyk.

Kane Williamson scored a patient 22 off 64 balls before he was caught and Neil Wagner (23) and Tim Southee (18) went for plenty of big shots when perhaps a little more patience and composure was needed.

The Black Caps would have finished the day with a now familiar feeling of frustration - and a little anxiety at what the big-hitting Gayle and Powell could do to them in the morning.

SCOREBOARD

- APNZ

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