WI stumble to Test defeat
HAMILTON, New Zealand – West Indies failed in their bid for a series-levelling win, after Kane Williamson hit his second half-century of the match to lead New Zealand to an eight-wicket victory in the third Test on Sunday here.
None of the Windies bowlers could make a significant impact, as Williamson hit the top score of 56 and left-handed opener Hamish Rutherford supported with 48 not out, as the New Zealanders successfully chased a target of 122 on the fourth day at Seddon Park.
The result meant that the Caribbean side lost the three-Test series 0-2, following a defeat by an innings and 73 runs in the second Test which ended two Fridays ago at the Basin Reserve in the New Zealand capital of Wellington.
Rain forced a draw in the first Test which ended three Saturdays ago at University Oval in the South Island city of Dunedin.
The West Indies bowlers extracted precious little from the pitch, after the Black Caps chose to use the roller-compactor before the start of play.
Still, the Windies bowlers, off-spinner Sunil Narine as expected, created a few close calls for the New Zealand batsmen, but the ball either popped into the air away or short of fielders.
Before lunch, the visitors thought they had Rutherford caught behind off Narine, but the left-handed opener reviewed umpire Ian Gould’s decision and television replays suggested the bat clipped the turf just about the same time the ball was passing.
West Indies, therefore, endured a fruitless toil before lunch, as Williamson and Rutherford inched New Zealand to 89 for one at the interval.
After lunch, the Windies bowlers were put under pressure, as Williamson, in particular, increased the tempo, playing aggressively to reach his 50 from 74 balls with a trey to deep cover off left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul.
But Permaul bowled Williamson with six runs required, leaving Rutherford and the home team’s batting hero Ross Taylor to carry New Zealand over the finish line.
Taylor, whose series aggregate of 495 – at an average of 247.50 – fell 18 short of a New Zealand record for a three-Test series, was named Man-of-the-Match.
The two teams will now contest a series of five One-day Internationals, starting on Thursday, Boxing Day, at Eden Park in the neighbouring city of Auckland, referred to as New Zealand’s Super City.
WEST INDIES 1st Innings 367
(S. Chanderpaul 122, D. Ramdin 107; T. Southee 4-79)
NEW ZEALAND 1st Innings 349
(R. Taylor 131; S. Narine 6-91)
WEST INDIES 2nd Innings 103
(D. Sammy 24; T. Boult 4-23)
NEW ZEALAND 2nd Innings (target: 122 runs)
P. Fulton c and b Sammy 10
H. Rutherford not out 48
K. Williamson b Permaul 56
R. Taylor not out 2
Extras (b7, nb1) 8
TOTAL (2 wkts) 124
Bowling: Best 7-3-22-0; Narine 16-6-39-0; Sammy 9-3-21-1 (nb1); Permaul 7-1-29-1; Deonarine 1.4-0-6-0
Result: New Zealand won by eight wickets
Series: New Zealand won three-match series 2-0
Man-of-the-Match: R. Taylor (New Zealand)
Umpires: I. Gould (England), N. Llong (England)
TV umpire: P. Reiffel (Australia)
Match referee: R. Mahanama (Sri Lanka)
Reserve umpire: D. Walker (New Zealand)