Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
New Zealand’s bowling trio of Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Mark Craig took three wickets apiece to help the Blackcaps beat the West Indies by 53 runs on the fifth day of the third Test in Barbados.
As a result of their victory, New Zealand clinched the Test series 2-1.
New Zealand declared on their overnight score of 331/7 and set the West Indies a target of 308 to win the match and series.
However, the hosts got off to a horrible start as opening batsman Kraigg Brathwaite was clean bowled by Boult for six runs.
Kirk Edwards only managed to make 10 runs before he was caught by Ross Taylor at first slip off the bowling of Boult.
Flamboyant batsman Chris Gayle mustered 11 runs before he was cleaned up by Southee.
A while later, the heavens parted and the players were ushered off the field.
However, after an early lunch, the rain disappeared and play resumed.
Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Darren Bravo stabilised the innings with a 50-run partnership before Chanderpaul was stumped by BJ Watling off the bowling of Craig for 25.
Unbelievably, this was the first time Chanderpaul had been stumped in the 156 Test matches he has played.
Just a short while after Chanderpaul’s dismissal, the rain returned.
However, there was only a 20-minute delay before the players were allowed back on the field once again.
West Indies captain Denesh Ramdin managed to make 29 runs before he was brilliantly caught by Taylor at first slip off the bowling of Southee.
Southee struck again in his next over when Bravo was caught by Kane Williamson at gully for 40.
Birthday boy Kemar Roach only made seven runs before he was caught by Tom Latham at short leg off the bowling of Craig.
Jason Holder and Shane Shillingford steadied the innings with a 77-run partnership, during which Holder brought up his maiden half-century, before he was clean bowled by Craig for 52 off 79 balls, which included three boundaries and a six.
Sulieman Benn scored 10 runs before he was caught by Southee at short cover off the bowling of Neil Wagner.
The West Indies were bowled out for 254 when Jerome Taylor was given out lbw off the bowling of Boult for 12 runs.
Taylor decided to review the decision since he was the last man in, but replays showed that the ball was going on to hit middle stump. This led to the third umpire upholding the original decision.
Shillingford was left stranded on 30 off 101 balls, which included two boundaries.
Boult, Southee and Craig picked up three wickets apiece, while Wagner chipped in with one.
Ramdin was gutted to have lost the match and series, and said: “Credit to Brendon, lots of positives. We didn’t put up the kind of fight we wanted to. The NZ lower order kept pushing us. In the first innings we could have pushed on but that’s Test cricket and we could have pushed on. Hopefully we can get it right in the next couple of matches.”
New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum was ecstatic to have beaten the West Indies again, and said: “[Well] Played by two very good teams and I thought they put us under a lot of pressure, today was a testament to how good a series it has been. Tom Latham and Craig have really stood up and Neesham is very valuable to our side. Our fast bowlers have been great overseas, taking wickets on these pitches. You obviously want to score runs but you also enjoy other people’s success. This series is ground-breaking for this group.”
Williamson was named Man of the Match, for his career-best 161 in the first innings, and Man of the Series for scoring 413 runs at an incredible average of 82.60.
“The game was in the balance, great to have some support. It was nice it all came together in this game,” he said. “Anytime you get a chance to contribute it’s pleasing. Craig McMillan has been a really good help. T20 is good fun and I think it is important to adapt to all formats.”