Gayle punishes New Zealand

West Indies opener reaches close on 85 not out

Last Updated: 27/07/12 10:56pm

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Chris Gayle is just 15 runs short of marking his Test return with a century as the West Indies made a strong response on day two of the opening Test against New Zealand in Antigua.

Sunil Narine claimed a five-wicket haul as the Black Caps were dismissed for 351 in mid-afternoon before Gayle and opening partner Kieran Powell shared an unbroken stand of 145 through to stumps on day two.

That is 206 runs behind New Zealand, who went from an overnight 232-4 to 351 all out, off-spinner Narine - playing his second Test - finished with 5-132 after adding to his three scalps from day one.

It would have been even worse for the tourists but for a counter-attacking 39 off 31 balls by number 10 Doug Bracewell, including a 42-run stand for the final wicket with Chris Martin (four not out).

Partnership

Gayle and Powell then followed up the good work done by the bowlers with the West Indies' best opening stand since 2006.

Gayle hit four successive boundaries off the first over from Martin and added six more in reaching his 34th Test fifty.

The Jamaican left-hander did get a life when on 37 though when he was dropped by Daniel Flynn at point.

The 32-year-old slowed down towards the end of the day but still added two more fours and a six to his tally, having faced just 124 balls in total.

Powell was more circumspect in making his third Test fifty, the 22-year-old's runs coming off 164 balls and included 10 fours.

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