Overnight assessment of conditions did the trick, says Tim Southee

At the end of a 15-wicket day in Hamilton, New Zealand are all but sure of taking a 1-0 lead in the two-Test series. Tim Southee started the carnage, sending back John Campbell on his way to returns of 4 for 35 in the first West Indies innings, as the visitors went from 53 for no loss to 138 all out, before following on and ending the third day on 196 for 6, still 185 behind. And for Southee, the difference was that New Zealand “knew where we had to be for longer periods of time”.

Campbell and Kraigg Brathwaite had taken West Indies to a safe 49 for no loss in reply to New Zealand’s 519 for 7 declared when play ended on the second day, but more swing with the older ball and the westerly breeze at Seddon Park, Southee said, had an effect.

“It was nice, this is one of the few grounds that favours the outswing. But we assessed through it last night and we weren’t far off,” he said in a press interaction. “We knew where we had to be for longer periods of time, and managed to get a couple early and get the ball rolling.”

While Southee has so far picked up five wickets, Neil Wagner (four) and Kyle Jamieson (three) have been among the wickets too, and the towering Jamieson, who also scored an unbeaten 51 earlier, came in for special praise from Southee.

“He’s been a great addition at the back end of last summer, and he’s shown again here with both bat and ball,” Southee said of Jamieson, who made his Test debut against India last summer as a replacement for Lockie Ferguson, and has played in all three of New Zealand’s Tests since. “So he’s been a great asset to the side and adds another variation as well. Obviously you’ve got myself and Trent [Boult], left- and right-arm to swing it. Wags [Wagner] does his thing and then you’ve got a tall guy in him [Jamieson], who hits some challenging areas.”

“We aren’t disappointed, we would have taken this position going into this morning. Anytime you have a side follow-on, you know you’ve obviously played pretty well at some stage. So although we weren’t quite at our best in the last hour, you’ve got to give a little bit of credit to Joseph and Blackwood” Southee on the dropped catches

Southee is currently on 289 Test wickets, and though he is focused on winning the Test, and the series, against West Indies, he said he was aware of the 300-wicket milestone.

“[You] probably don’t chase [such milestones],” he said. “It’s something that when you play for long enough, those things happen. But yeah, it’ll be something special if I can get there.

“At the moment, it’s about coming back tomorrow and taking the remaining wickets. It’s just nice to contribute‚Ķ and it’ll be a lot of hard work between now and then.”

In what has been a dominant performance by Kane Williamson’s team, a few fielding lapses have hrt them. Both unbeaten batsmen, Jermaine Blackwood and Alzarri Joseph, were dropped one each, and Jason Holder had been reprieved twice, in two balls.

“We aren’t disappointed, we would have taken this position going into this morning,” he said. “Anytime you have a side follow-on, you know you’ve obviously played pretty well at some stage. So although we weren’t quite at our best in the last hour, you’ve got to give a little bit of credit to Joseph and Blackwood – the way they took an attacking approach to it and had a little bit of luck along the way.

“But they played positive cricket and we were a little bit off in that last session as well. So [we need to] restart and have another go tomorrow.”

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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