4 Dec 2020

Black Caps ready to push on

7:47 am on 4 December 2020

New Zealand opener Tom Latham is more than happy with the position the team is in heading into day two of the first cricket test against the West Indies.

Tom Latham heads out to bat in the second cricket Test between the Black Caps and Sri Lanka in Christchurch.

Tom Latham heads out to bat in the second cricket Test between the Black Caps and Sri Lanka in Christchurch. Photo: PhotoSport

Sent into bat on a green Seddon Park pitch, a disciplined Black Caps batting display defied the bowler friendly conditions to reach 243-2 at stumps in Hamilton on Thursday.

The hosts would start on Friday with captain Kane Williamson just shy of his 22nd test century, on 97 not out, while fellow senior batsman Ross Taylor was unbeaten on 31.

Latham missed out on a 12th test ton but showed typically impressive application to reach 86 before he was bowled by seamer Kemar Roach.

The left-handed opener, who combined with Williamson for a 154-run second wicket partnership, was happy with how the New Zealand side was placed.

"If you said to us this morning we'd be 240-odd for two we'd obviously take that," Latham said after stumps on day one.

"The wicket was a bit green and we've come to expect that of wickets here in New Zealand and we managed to do a lot of hard work today.

"[It was] nice to build a partnership with Kane and get us into a strong position."

The West Indies four seam bowlers sent down 68 of the 78 overs bowled on Thursday.

While they were more threatening in the second and final session on a day where rain delayed the start of play, the visitors were not as consistent as they needed to be early on to capitalise on the green pitch.

Latham conceded the Black Caps batsmen were given a little help by the West Indies bowling strategy.

"They probably bowled a fraction short on a wicket that was offering a little bit of assistance, so we were allowed to leave balls on length and get ourselves in that way.

"Even though the wickets are traditionally very green on day one here in New Zealand, they don't seem to do as much as you would probably think."

A strong first day had set New Zealand up well for a good first innings total, with Henry Nicholls, Tom Blundell and all-rounder Daryl Mitchell all still to come behind Williamson and Taylor.