Record ton helps West Indies  gain edge over New Zealand

Hamilton: Shivnarine Chanderpaul’s record 17th unbeaten Test century and a master-class from a patched-up spin attack gave West Indies the edge over New Zealand as they chased a series-levelling win.Chanderpaul’s 122 not out, overtaking Sachin Tendulkar’s record and putting him sixth on the all-time scorers’ list, left the tourists at 367 all out before New Zealand finished day two of the third Test on 156 for 3.

Record ton helps West Indies  gain edge over New Zealand

Ross Taylor, seeking his third century in as many Tests, was on 56 and Brendon McCullum was on 11 after New Zealand lost openers Hamish Rutherford and Peter Fulton cheaply.Taylor stood in a 95-run partnership with Kane Williamson (58), the second victim for Sunil Narine who was called into the side after Shane Shillingford’s ban for an illegal action.

The many variations in the twin spin assault of Narine and Veerasammy Permaul caused multiple problems for the New Zealand batsmen, who struggled to read the turning ball. But the real honours for the West Indies lay with Chanderpaul, who came to the rescue and rewrote the record books into the bargain when the tourists were in trouble at 86-5 on the first day.

His 200-run partnership with Denesh Ramdin (107) and late cameo stands with Permaul (20) and Tino Best (25) gave the West Indies a respectable total to defend.When Chanderpaul reached his 29th Test hundred by smacking Tim Southee past gully to the boundary, he immediately went down on his knees to kiss the pitch. It was a gesture to celebrate the hundred as well as the achievement of batting his team out of trouble as West Indies, 1-0 down in the series, fight to win the third and final Test.

Chanderpaul’s 122 not out lifted him to 11,199 runs from his 153 Tests, overtaking Allan Border (11,174) as the sixth most prolific run-scoring Test batsmen, and 754 behind fifth-placed Brian Lara.His 17th unbeaten century also put the 39-year-old one ahead of recently retired Indian great Tendulkar as the batsman holding the most unbeaten Test hundreds.

New Zealand made an uncertain start to their response with openers Fulton and Rutherford struggling to find runs and both removed by snappy catches by Darren Sammy.The West Indies captain, celebrating his 30th birthday, just snuck his fingers under the ball at ground level to have Rutherford caught and bowled for 10.

The introduction of spin saw Fulton out for 11 when he flicked the third delivery from Narine down the leg side where Sammy grasped a sharp, reflex catch.But while the spinners kept Williamson and Taylor guessing, and beat the bat several times, the partnership survived 34 overs before Narine trapped Williamson lbw.

McCullum appeared mesmerised by Narine at first and could not get bat to ball with the first two deliveries he faced before he belted two boundaries to try to put the spinners off-line.

Chanderpaul passes Border as sixth highest scorer in Tests

Hamilton: Veteran West Indies batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul overtook Australian Allan Border as the sixth highest all-time run scorer in Test cricket. His 122 not out in the third Test against New Zealand was also his 29th century and his 17th unbeaten, putting him one ahead of Indian great Sachin Tendulkar as the batsman with the most unbeaten Test hundreds.

Chanderpaul now has 11,199 runs from his 153 Tests.Border scored 11,174 runs from 156 Tests before he retired in March 1994, the same month the 39-year-old Chanderpaul made his debut.The fifth highest scorer in Test cricket is Chanderpaul’s West Indies compatriot Brian Lara who amassed 11,953, while the list is headed by the recently retired Tendulkar with a colossal 15,921 from 200 matches.

The other players in front of Chanderpaul are Australia’s Ricky Ponting (13,378), India’s Rahul Dravid (13,288), and South African Jacques Kallis (13,140).The classy Chanderpaul, whose front-on stance would not be found in any coaching manual, has blossomed since Lara’s retirement in 2007.

When playing in the Lara years, Chanderpaul averaged 44.60 in 101 Tests, but in 52 Tests since he has averaged a shade under 70.

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