BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – West Indies crashed to a 2-1 series defeat here yesterday after producing another inept batting performance to hand New Zealand a 53-run victory in the decisive third Test at Kensington Oval.
Set a challenging 308 for victory at the start of a rain-hit final day, the hosts lost wickets steadily and were dismissed at 4:50 pm for 254, when left-arm seamer Trent Boult removed Jerome Taylor in the third over with the second new ball.
When the Windies plunged to 144 for seven, 25 minutes before tea, it appeared as if the contest would be over before the interval, but debutant fast bowler Jason Holder stroked a top score of 52, inspiring a stand of 77 for the eighth wicket with Shane Shillingford, 30 not out, which frustrated the Black Caps. Left-hander Darren Bravo scored 40 while captain Denesh Ramdin chipped in with 29 and veteran left-hander Shiv Chanderpaul, 25.
However, West Indies were undermined by seamers Tim Southee (3-28) and Boult (3-48), while off-spinner Mark Craig finished with three for 84.
New Zealand won the first Test at Sabina Park in Kingston by 186 runs inside four days before West Indies levelled the series with a 10-wicket victory in Port of Spain.
For the visitors, it was only their second series win in the Caribbean and their second straight triumph, after beating the Windies last December on their turf.
Searching for a crucial victory, New Zealand declared at their overnight 331 for seven and immediately found success, grabbing three wickets in the morning session which was marred by rain.
In the third over, opener Kraigg Brathwaite offered no stroke to Boult and lost his off stump for six with the score on seven and Kirk Edwards rode his luck in scoring ten before edging to Ross Taylor at first slip off Boult, to leave the Windies on 23 for two.
Southee then made the key breakthrough when he claimed dangerous opener Chris Gayle bowled for 11, after the Jamaican left-hander edged an attempted drive onto his stumps.
Bravo and Chanderpaul then added exactly 50 for the fourth wicket and were together when rain at 11:25 am resulted in an early lunch at 11:40 am, with the Windies fighting back at 72 for three.
Both batsmen showed attacking intent, with Bravo pulling left-armer Neil Wagner through mid-on for four in the bowler’s first over of the day and Chanderpaul collecting two consecutive boundaries to third man in the seamer’s next over, as West Indies passed fifty.
Chanderpaul, however, fell half-hour after lunch, pulled from his crease by Craig and stumped at 81 for four but Bravo then added a further 41 runs for the fifth wicket with Ramdin, in a stand that temporarily raised the Windies hopes of saving the contest.
Ramdin was positive, striking two fours and a six off just 47 balls but perished just following a 20-minute rain break, caught at first slip by the brilliant Taylor off Southee.
Bravo, who faced 98 balls in nearly 2-1/2 hours at the crease and counted six fours, fell two overs later when he sliced a drive at Southee to Kane Williamson at gully, leaving the Windies on 129 for six. Roach stayed around 21 minutes for his seven before popping a catch to short leg off Craig, as West Indies went to tea with defeat looming at 161 for seven.
Any hopes of a quick end to the Windies innings quickly faded after the break as Holder and Shillingford frustrated the Black Caps. Holder, who hit 38 in the first innings, did his career no harm with a gutsy knock that came from 79 balls in two hours, and included three fours and six – a hefty blow over long-off off Craig.
NEW ZEALAND 1st Innings 293
WEST INDIES 1st Innings 317
NEW ZEALAND 2nd Innings 331-7 decl.
WEST INDIES 2nd Innings (target: 308 runs)
C Gayle b Southee 11
K Brathwaite b Boult 6
K Edwards c Taylor b Boult 10
S Chanderpaul st Watling b Craig 25
D Bravo c Williamson b Southee 40
*+D Ramdin c Taylor b Southee 29
J Holder b Craig 52
K Roach c Latham b Craig 7
S Shillingford not out 30
S Benn c Southee b Wagner 10
J Taylor lbw b Boult 12
Extras (b4, lb15, w1, nb2) 22
TOTAL (10 wkts, 82.2 overs) 254
Fall of wickets: 1-7 (Brathwaite), 2-23 (Edwards), 3-31 (Gayle), 4-81 (Chanderpaul), 5-122 (Ramdin), 6-129 (Bravo), 7-144 (Roach,), 8-221 (Holder, 73.3), 9-232 (Benn), 10-254 (Taylor)
Bowling: Boult 16.2-1-48-3, Southee 16-4-28-3 (w1), Craig 28-7-84-3 (nb1), Wagner 16-3-50-1 (nb1), Neesham 3-1-9-0, Williamson 3-0-16-0.
Result: New Zealand won by 53 runs.
Series: New Zealand win three-match series 2-1.
Man-of-the-Match: Kane Williamson.
Man-of-the-Series: Kane Williamson.
Toss: New Zealand.
Umpires: Ian Gould, Richard Illingworth; TV – Rod Tucker.