Thursday 26 July 2012

Mini-session Analysis 1st Test WI NZ Antigua 2012

Here is the final mini-session analysis for the first test between West Indies and New Zealand at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, North Sound, Antigua.

A mini-session is (normally) half a session, either between the start of the session and the drinks break or the drinks break and the end of the session. Occasionally a long session will have 3 mini-sessions where it will be broken up with 2 drinks breaks.

1-1aNew Zealand 21/0 off 12.1draw
1-1bNew Zealand 50/0 off 16.5New Zealand
1-2aNew Zealand 49/1 off 16draw
1-2bNew Zealand 39/1 off 14draw
1-3aNew Zealand 42/0 off 15New Zealand
1-3bNew Zealand 31/2 off 16West Indies
2-1aNew Zealand 28/1 off 16West Indies
2-1bNew Zealand 27/2 off 12West Indies
2-2aNew Zealand 64/3 off 11.1New Zealand
2-2bWest Indies 72/0 off 14West Indies
2-3aWest Indies 46/0 off 17West Indies
2-3bWest Indies 27/0 off 17New Zealand
3-1aWest Indies 30/0 off 10.1West Indies
3-1bWest Indies 70/0 off 13.5West Indies
3-2aWest Indies 47/1 off 15draw
3-2bWest Indies 60/1 off 13West Indies
3-3aWest Indies 24/2 off 12New Zealand
3-3bWest Indies 66/2 off 26New Zealand
4-1aWest Indies 49/0 off 12.3West Indies
4-1bWest Indies 31/4 off 13New Zealand
4-2aNew Zealand 58/1 off 15New Zealand
4-2bNew Zealand 34/0 off 15New Zealand
4-3aNew Zealand 63/0 off 15New Zealand
4-3bNew Zealand 44/2 off 19West Indies
5-1aNew Zealand 18/0 off 10.1draw
5-1bNew Zealand 8/2 off 15.5West Indies
5-2aNew Zealand 47/5 off 15.2West Indies
5-2bWest Indies 32/0 off 8West Indies
5-3aWest Indies 70/1 off 11.3West Indies

Latest update here

Middle drinks, Day 1: New Zealand lead the mini-session count 1-0

An interesting start to the match. After a very slow start the openers started to assert themselves, before Flynn hit a short ball from Narine straight to point. It seems that the way to get Flynn out is to bowl a bad delivery. In the ODI's he managed to hit almost every good delivery that was bowled to him, but got out to some of the worst ones.

The Narine factor hasn't been significant yet, but there is still a lot of cricket to go in this match.

Tea, Day 1: New Zealand lead the mini-session count 1-0

Another even session. Before I added in draws to the formula these mini-sessions would have come out 2-2. I think New Zealand are slightly ahead, but only slightly. There has only been one test at the Sir Vivian Richards stadium that has lasted more than 10 deliveries, so it is difficult to know how the pitch will react as the match wears on.

Again it was a bad ball that dismissed a batsman. A full, wide ball from Roach, that should have been driven for four was instead driven low and hard to mid off by McCullum. It's an unlucky way to get out in some regards, as if he had hit it 2 hundredths of a second later it would have probably blazed along the ground. The ball wasn't slower than the previous ball, so it was really just poor execution from the batsman, rather than good bowling from Roach.

If New Zealand had been offered 159/2 at the resumption of play I would imagine that they would have taken it.

Final drinks, Day 1: New Zealand lead the mini-session count 2-0

More sensible play from New Zealand here. Sammy has a short mid-wicket in place to Guptill, which has cut off his main source of turning over the strike, but Guptill has been prepared to wait it out. He is closing in on what would be probably his best test century, being a completely different type of innings to his attacking 189 in Hamilton.

New Zealand have got into a reasonably strong position now in this match.

Stumps, Day 1: New Zealand lead the mini-session count 2-1

And just like that the match evens up. One good ball from Narine, and one bad shot from Guptill. I had praised Guptill for his patience earlier, and he had been incredibly patient, given that his most productive shot had been cut off. However it came to an end in the 87th over.

New Zealand will be looking for at least 400 as with Brownlie, Vettori and van Wyk still to come there is still a lot of batting left.

Vettori might be a real handful on this pitch. Narine has been getting some awkward bounce. While Vettori is not a great spin bowler he is possibly the worlds best bounce bowler, and inconsistent bounce is what he thrives on as a bowler.

It should be an interesting test match from here.

Innings break, Day 2: The mini-session count is tied up at 3-3

The New Zealand tail decided to take the attack to the bowlers and the approach was very effective. This is not a good sign for New Zealand, as it might indicate that the defensive approach that the top order took was not necessarily the correct one. There is not much chance of Chris Gayle taking a defensive approach.

Narine picked up 5 wickets, but they took 43 overs and cost 132 runs. He is, however, the sort of bowler who is likely to be better in the second innings, unlike Vettori, the first innings spinner.

Chris Martin got another not out to add to his collection. That's his 50th, he's now only 11 away from the world record. It shows the high regard that his team mates hold his batting in.

350 is probably slightly below the par score, but it is sufficient to make for good match. It will be very interesting to see the response of the West Indies, which will really give us an indication of how good the score is.

Stumps, Day 2: West Indies lead the mini-session count 5-4.

Chris Gayle did attack. And he did it effectively. West Indies scored at over 5 an over at the start of the innings. It was not without some risks, with both Gayle and Powell having a life off consecutive balls, firstly with Guptill missing Powell off Wagner and then Flynn putting down Gayle off Bracewell.

By the end of the day, however, New Zealand had taken back some of the initiative, with Gayle and Powell both surviving some close calls from Vettori and Wagner for lbw. Wagner was able to get some sharp reverse swing, perhaps assisted by Doug Bracewell. Bracewell is likely to be having a long, expensive, chat with match referee Ranjan Madugalle following the game after being caught on camera scratching the ball.

West Indies are in control of this match now, but with the ball reversing and runs on the board, New Zealand are not out of it by any means. However with Chanderpaul and Samuels still to come, West Indies should be looking for a significant first innings lead.

Tea, Day 3: West Indies lead the mini-session count 8-4.

Another case of what could have been for New Zealand. The second dropped catch of Gayle was not as expensive as the first one, only costing 8 runs. However there were a number of chances against Powell that never quite went to hand and a run out opportunity that turned into 4 overthrows.

The most concerning thing for New Zealand is that the most dangerous looking bowler has been Kane Williamson. It's concerning because there is the fear that if Williamson is dangerous, Narine will be almost unplayable.

Martin has looked a lot less menacing against the left-handers than normal, and New Zealand really need him to find his rhythm soon.

I think that this pitch is trickier than the scorecard would indicate. Any lead that West Indies can get will be very valuable.

Final drinks, Day 3: West Indies lead the mini-session count 8-5

Chris Martin did find his rhythm, and removed Samuels and Chanderpaul with consecutive deliveries. Williamson still looked threatening. West Indies are still in the lead, but they have gone from leading by 1 run and 8 wickets to leading by 25 runs and 6 wickets. Definitely New Zealand's hour.

Stumps, Day 3: West Indies lead the mini-series count 8-6

New Zealand managed to make it difficult for the West Indian batsmen to score, and as a result managed to pick up a couple of quick wickets from the pressure.

West Indies are in a very strong position now. They are likely to get to 500, and that will create a very difficult prospect for New Zealand to even make them bat again.

However if New Zealand manage to set West Indies a chase of 100, it could be a fantastic finish.

Final drinks, Day 4: New Zealand lead the mini-session count 10-9

New Zealand had to wait an hour for their first break through this morning, but then the rest of the day has really been theirs. Firstly Martin, Vettori and Bracewell cleaned up the tail, then Guptill, Flynn and McCullum batted sensibly. The game is now probably heading for a draw, but there is still hope for the other results. If New Zealand manage to set a target of 150 with 3 hours to go we could be in for a really good conclusion.

Stumps, Day 4: The mini-session count is tied 10-10

Despite the even mini-session count West Indies are ahead in the match. Guptill and McCullum both failed to convert a start. Guptill got out to a good ball and a great catch, and that's something that happen on an old pitch. However Brendan McCullum played a poor shot to a ball that he really should not have gotten out to.

Surprisingly Narine has not looked as dangerous as I would have expected. In a lot of ways Williamson has looked the most threatening of the 5 spinners used. He certainly bowled quite frequently for Gloucestershire and perhaps he is starting to get the benefit of having those overs under his belt.

This day has followed the pattern of the rest of the days, one team doing well, but then the other team leveling up things in the final hour.

End of match: West Indies win the match and the mini-session count 14-10.

In some ways New Zealand lost this test match near the end of the second day when they missed Chris Gayle and Kieran Powell.

Just to show how dominant those two players were, look at the averages for the teams:

Gayle & Powell126
Rest of West Indies30.75
New Zealand31.15

The other big difference was the scoring rate. The West Indians attacked the bowling. They tried to score runs. The New Zealanders generally were content to wait for the bad balls. If you let bowlers bowl to you, then you are giving up the advantage.

New Zealand's bowlers also looked toothless. Wagner and Williamson were the most threatening. Chris Martin looked out of form, and Bracewell looked more like the bowler with a first class average in the 30's than the bowler with a test average in the low 20s. Boult was a real stand out in St Kitts, and while it's not ideal to have two left-armers in the team, it is hard to see any reason for leaving him out of the team if he is sufficiently recovered from his injury.

There are no such worries for the West Indies. The only players who didn't make a significant contribution were Samuels and Chanderpaul, who are realistically two of their three best batsmen. The only other question mark is about Rampaul, but he did enough in this test to hold his place.

I fail to understand also how Sunil Narine was man of the match. There was one player who I thought was head and shoulders above everyone else, and that was Chris Gayle. If anything I thought Roach was the most impressive of the West Indian bowlers. I think match figures of 7/105 are better than 8/223. Gayle scored 214 runs, was only dismissed once and scored his runs quickly enough that his team managed to win the match. If Gayle had scored at a strike rate of 50, it would have taken an extra 28.5 overs for West Indies to have scored their totals. They won with 28.3 overs left in the days play. He allowed them to win the match. Without doubt he should have been the man of the match.

New Zealand now need to win in Jamaica, which is hardly a ground where they have good memories from the ODI matches. They are not as far behind the West Indies as the score would indicate, but they are still behind, and need to do something quickly to catch up.

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