KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – West Indies suffered a humiliating defeat in the first Test here yesterday, as New Zealand crushed them by 186 runs inside four days at Sabina Park to claim only their second ever win in the Caribbean.
Set an improbable 403 for victory, West Indies produced another wretched performance to be dismissed for 216, collapsing meekly inside a session-and-a-half and handing the Black Caps a critical 1-0 lead in the three-Test series.
The defeat was engineered by Man-of-the-Match off-spinner Mark Craig who grabbed four for 97 to follow up a similar four-wicket haul in the first innings, and end his debut Test with outstanding match figures of eight for 188.
Leg-spinner Ish Sodhi supported with three for 42 while seamer Tim Southee again bowled brilliantly to finish with two for 32.
With West Indies tottering on the verge of defeat at 134 for nine, Shane Shillingford and Sulieman Benn threw caution to the wind in a cavalier 85-run last wicket partnership which frustrated New Zealand at the end.
Shillingford finished unbeaten on 53 off a mere 29 balls, including three fours and five sixes, while Benn got 25 from 27 balls, with four fours and a six.
With the last half hour claimed, the pair were three balls away from taking the match into a fifth day when off-spinner Kane Williamson, in his only over of the game, had Benn caught behind giving wicketkeeper BJ Watling his fifth catch of the innings.
Earlier, captain Denesh Ramdin scored 34 and veteran Shiv Chanderpaul, 24, but none of the other batsmen put their hands up, after New Zealand had declared their second innings on 156 for eight, about 40 minutes before tea.
Left with just over half-hour to survive before the interval, the Windies lost talismanic opener Chris Gayle for ten and his partner Kieran Powell, without scoring – both batsmen falling to the irrepressible Southee.
Gayle, as accustomed, started brightly with two consecutive boundaries off the first over from left-arm seamer Trent Boult. The first four, a flick to the mid-wicket boundary, carried him past 7 000 runs in Tests, becoming only the eighth West Indian batsman to achieve the feat.
Things fell apart in the next over, however, when Powell flicked in the air for Tom Latham to take sharp catch at short mid-wicket, set specifically for that stroke.
Two overs later, Gayle followed him, playing back to one angled across him and falling to a catch at the wicket off Southee for the second time in the match.
On 15 for two at the break, West Indies lost Kirk Edwards for 14, 20 minutes after the resumption, caught at leg gully by James Neesham pushing forward to Craig.
Six overs later, left-handed Darren Bravo (12) reached for one from Craig that turned and bounced and edged behind to Watling and Marlon Samuels lasted just two balls before falling for his second ‘duck’ of the match, for the first time in his career.
Chanderpaul struck four fours off 35 balls in nearly an hour at the crease and along with Ramdin, provided a glimmer of hope, as they counter-attacked.
Both got off the mark with boundaries, Chanderpaul sweeping Craig and Ramdin driving Southee through cover, but the revival was short-lived.
Chanderpaul offered no stroke to one that turned back in from Sodhi in the bowler’s second over and was lbw – confirmed by a review – and Kemar Roach scored 19 in adding 49 with his skipper before gloving a leg-side catch off Craig to Watling.
Ramdin was bowled in the next over, playing an inglorious slog at Sodhi and Jerome Taylor’s entertaining 18 off 13 balls, with a four and two sixes, was ended with a superb catch by the keeper as the Jamaican swung at Sodhi.
It was Taylor who had earlier raised the Windies hopes at the start of the day, when he struck twice in the second over, before the Black Caps had added to their overnight 14 for two.
He squared up nightwatchman Sodhi and struck him on the back leg to gain a clear lbw verdict and off the very next ball, trapped Ross Taylor on the crease, leaving the umpire with little choice.
However, opener Tom Latham who top scored with 73, anchored two critical partnerships to rally the Black Caps. He added 41 for the fifth wicket with captain Brendon McCullum who made 17 before he was bowled through the gate by off-spinner Shillingford (2-39). He then put on a further 63 for the sixth wicket with James Neesham, who made 20.
Overall, the left-handed Latham faced 181 balls, batted a shade over four hours, and struck eight fours, for his second half-century of the game.
Taylor was the best bowler with three for 28 while fellow new ball partner Kemar Roach finished with two for 12.
NEW ZEALAND 1st Innings 508 for seven decl.
WEST INDIES 1st Innings 262
NEW ZEALAND 2nd innings
(overnight 14 for two)
P Fulton c wkp Ramdin b Taylor 0
T Latham c Gayle b Roach 73
K Williamson b Roach 2
I Sodhi lbw b Taylor 4
L Taylor lbw b Taylor 0
*+B McCullum b Shillingford 17
J Neesham c sub (K Brathwaite) b Shillingford 20
+BJ Watling not out 22
T Southee c Bravo b Benn 3
M Craig not out 7
Extras (lb8) 8
TOTAL (8 wkts dec; 60.5 overs) 156
Did not bat: T Boult.
Fall of wickets: 1-0 (Fulton), 2-7 (Williamson), 3-14 (Sodhi), 4-14 (Taylor), 5-55 (McCullum), 6-118 (Neesham), 7-143 (Latham), 8-146 (Southee)
Bowling: Taylor 12-4-28-3, Roach 12-6-12-2, Benn 17.5-3-47-1, Shillingford 13-0-39-2, Samuels 6-1-22-0.
WEST INDIES 2nd Innings
C Gayle c wkp Watling b Southee 10
K Powell c Latham b Southee 0
K Edwards c Neesham b Craig 14
D Bravo c wkp Watling b Craig 12
S Chanderpaul lbw b Sodhi 24
M Samuels c Latham b Craig 0
*+D Ramdin b Sodhi 34
K Roach c wkp Watling b Craig 19
J Taylor c wkp Watling b Sodhi 18
S Benn c wkp Watling b Williamson 25
S Shillingford not out 53
Extras (b4, lb2, w1) 7
TOTAL (all out, 47.4 overs) 216
Fall of wickets: 1-8 (Powell), 2-11 (Gayle), 3-30 (Edwards), 4-54 (Bravo), 5-54 (Samuels), 6-76 (Chanderpaul), 7-115 (Roach), 8-121 (Ramdin), 9-134 (Taylor), 10-216 (Benn)
Bowling: Boult 10-3-29-0, Southee 9-2-32-2, Craig 15-2-97-4, Neesham 2-0-9-0, Sodhi 11-1-42-3, Williamson 0.4-0-1-1.
Result: New Zealand won by 186 runs.
Series: New Zealand lead three-match series 1-0.
Man-of-the-Match: Mark Craig.
Toss: New Zealand.
Umpires: R Illingworth, R Tucker; TV – I Gould.