A brief history of New Zealand v West Indies
1951-52 (New Zealand)
West Indies first visit to New Zealand came at the end of a dismal series in Australia which they lost 0-4. In the first Test at Christchurch, West Indies owed their five-wicket win to Sonny Ramadhin, who took 9 for 125 in a low-scoring game. At Auckland, West Indies scored 546 for 6 after being put in, but rain prevented them forcing a win after making New Zealand follow on.
Tests: New Zealand 0 West Indies 1 Drawn 1
1955-56 (New Zealand)
Although New Zealand lost the first three Tests and the series, that was overshadowed by their victory in the final match, their first in a Test at the 45th time of asking, 26 years after their first game. Much credit belonged to John Reid, who succeeded Harry Cave as captain after the first Test and by his example instilled a new sense of purpose and confidence into a side of moderate talents. West Indies won the first three Tests by large margins as New Zealand's batting folded time after time - their highest total going into the final match was 208 - and although it hardly got better at Auckland (255 and 145), Cave, with match figures of 8 for 43, twice helped bowl West Indies out cheaply.
Tests: New Zealand 1 West Indies 3
1968-69 (New Zealand)
West Indies looked weary after a long tour of Australia but won the first Test, but only because of a refreshing and welcome attacking attitude by the New Zealand captain, Graham Dowling, and in each of the Tests the New Zealand batting had a depth which had been lacking in recent years. The outstanding performer for the West Indies was Seymour Nurse, who scored 826 runs in New Zealand at an average of 91.80. Before the final Test, he announced that he would retire at the end of the tour; and then he scored 258, a spectacular farewell innings.
Tests: New Zealand 1 West Indies 1
1971-72 (West Indies)
All five Test Matches were drawn and, indeed, every first-class match the New Zealanders played was drawn. In the final technical analysis the drawn series was the result of two weak bowling sides playing on very slow pitches. Four of the Tests were thrilling games of cricket; only the fourth at Georgetown was a bore and not many duller games of cricket can have been played than that one. In the first two matches New Zealand escaped from seemingly impossible situations and in the second were miraculously within sight of victory themselves on the last afternoon. They should then have won the third Test and, but for two dropped slip catches, would have done so, while rain was probably the principal factor in saving them from defeat in the fifth Test, played over six days. Glenn Turner, who scored four double centuries on the tour, had a remarkable time with the bat. But for such an able player he scored his runs too slowly. Brian Taylor, at fast-medium, took 27 wickets in only four Tests. Tight control allied to a high action enabled him to extract any bounce going and there was no greater trier in the entire New Zealand party. It was unbelievable that their selectors could have left him out of the first Test.
Tests: West Indies 0 New Zealand 0 Drawn 5
1979-80 (New Zealand)
New Zealand's first victory in a Test rubber at home should have been a happy occasion, but the New Zealand cricket public, which had looked forward keenly to the West Indians' visit, was glad to see the back of them. New Zealand won the first Test by the narrowest of margins, and drew the remaining two. Yet the West Indians lost more than a Test series. Their reputation for sportsmanship went too. There were several extremely unsavoury incidents on the field in the first two Tests, and the situation was not improved by the extravagant statements made by their harassed manager, Willie Rodriguez. In fairness, the umpiring was poor, but that did not excuse the on-field antics of the tourists. In the first Test, Michael Holding, having had an appeal disallowed, kicked the stumps out of the ground. When West Indies lost the match, Gordon Greenidge showed similar ill-temper as he left the field. At Christchurch in the second Test, Colin Croft, after being no balled, flicked off the bails as he walked back, and a little later ran in very close to the umpire, FR Goodall - so close that the batsman could not see him - and shouldered Goodall heavily. It was the height of discourtesy when Goodall, wishing on two occasions to speak to Clive Lloyd about Croft's behaviour, had to walk all the way to the West Indian captain, standing deep in the slips. Lloyd took not a step to meet him.
Tests: Zealand 1 West Indies 0 Drawn 2
ODI: New Zealand 1 West Indies 0
1984-85 (West Indies)
New Zealand's second tour of West Indies, condensed into seven weeks with four Tests, three three-day first-class matches and five one-day internationals, was a struggle from start to finish. The assessment of their own captain, Geoff Howarth, was that his team were two years past their peak; and the absence of their most reliable batsman of recent series, the left-handed John Reid, who declined to tour because of teaching commitments, was a telling setback. New Zealand were outclassed throughout as West Indies' pace attack, led by Malcolm Marshall, with 27 wickets at 18 apiece, wreaked havoc. Richard Hadlee confirmed his standing as a fast bowler of genuine class, but, unlike Marshall, he lacked support of similar quality.
Tests: West Indies 2 New Zealand 0 Drawn 1
ODIs: West Indies 5 New Zealand 0
1986-87 (New Zealand)
The unmistakable evidence after the West Indians' tour of New Zealand early in 1987 was that both teams were on the decline and faced a period of rebuilding. Each relied on the same players who had formed the nucleus of its sides for several years; most were over the age of 30 and several had passed their peak. The West Indians, particularly, lacked the all-round brilliance with which they had dominated international cricket for the better part of a decade, their enthusiasm diminished by a glut of cricket. They had come directly from a hectic one-day series in Australia. New Zealand comfortably saved the first Test after a spirited recovery in their second innings, West Indies won the second, in spite of the loss of more than a day's play to the weather, and New Zealand levelled the rubber in convincing fashion in the last. In the one-day internationals that followed, the West Indians, largely through the batting of their captain, Viv Richards, in the first and Gordon Greenidge in the last two, were irresistible. It was less troublesome than the previous visit - it could hardly be anything else - but Richards still had some sulphurous, if less spectacular, exchanges with anyone who did not do his bidding.
Tests: New Zealand 1 West Indies 1 Drawn 1
ODIs: New Zealand 0 West Indies 3
1994-95 (New Zealand)
Under Courtney Walsh, West Indies were a much more amenable outfit than on their previous two visits to New Zealand, but there was ample evidence that both sides were in decline, but Walsh bowled magnificently to take 16 of the 30 New Zealand wickets to fall in the two Tests, especially at Wellington, where he won the series. Brian Lara, if less consistent, also reached his high point when most needed. The less elegant left-hander, Jimmy Adams, was just as effective. This time it was the home team, not the visitors, who were the source of the turmoil. The tour was accompanied by what started as noises off but soon threatened to take centre stage. The New Zealand manager, coach and four suspended players all made dramatic exits. Three re-entered just in time for the Tests.
Tests: New Zealand 0 West Indies 1 Drawn 1
ODIs: New Zealand 0 West Indies 3
1995-96 (West Indies)
After the tour, both sides would have counted more pluses than minuses. West Indies seemed more solid, with Clive Lloyd in command off the field and Courtney Walsh on it, while New Zealand were also reasonably contented. They had brought Glenn Turner-inspired vitality to their one-day game; West Indies got home 3-2, but the series was so closely fought that no one would have complained had it gone the other way. Yet, as so often on tour, they played badly in the first Test, losing in four days by ten wickets. A lively, boundary-studded second-innings century from Nathan Astle provided their only warm memory. They started just as badly in the second Test, putting West Indies in and watching them score 548 for 7. But another, more sober Astle century led New Zealand past the follow-on and a late burst by Danny Morrison even had West Indies looking anxious. New Zealand did not have the bowling resources to force the win, but nor did West Indies look like dismissing New Zealand again on a flat pitch.
Tests: West Indies 1 New Zealand 0 Drawn 1
ODIs: West Indies 3 New Zealand 2
1999-2000 (New Zealand)
Less than 12 months after a disastrous tour of South Africa, West Indies' away form showed no signs of improving. Beaten by New Zealand in a Test match for the first time since 1986-87, they went on to suffer only their second series defeat at their hands. Brian Lara's side were then whitewashed 5-0 in the one-day series by a country that had won just four of their previous 25 limited-overs meetings. Lara admitted afterwards: "Everyone is hurt, but there is no one to blame but us. It's a greater hurt than in South Africa because it's a year later and you expect it to make a difference." A complete management clearout followed the tour, with Lara resigning from the captaincy, Clive Lloyd stepping down as manager and Sir Viv Richards, who was appointed as coach in a caretaker capacity after Malcolm Marshall had fallen ill, being overlooked when the position was advertised on the party's return home.
Tests: New Zealand 2 West Indies 0
ODIs: New Zealand 5 West Indies 0
2002 (West Indies)
On three previous tours of the Caribbean, New Zealand had won none of their 11 Tests (though they had managed a creditable eight draws) and only two of ten one-day internationals. But they started this series ranked third, while West Indies were on the slide in sixth. Although West Indies won the one-dayers 3-1, they were beaten inside four days in the first Test at Bridgetown and then held to a draw in Grenada to give New Zealand an historic series win. And for once it was new Zealand who had the genuine quick bowlers, with Shane Bond consistently clocking over 90mph (two five-wicket returns in the Tests earned him the Man-of-the-Series award) and Ian Butler giving him support. Chris Gayle dominated the one-day series with his punishing left-handed batting and tight offspin bowling, and maintained his form in the Tests. His second-innings 73 could not save the first Test, but his rousing 204 gave West Indies a chance of victory in the second. Staged later than any previous Tests in the Caribbean, the series had to compete with the televised counter-attraction of the football World Cup. While there were the usual good attendances at the one-day internationals, especially at St Lucia's new stadium and in St Vincent, there were fewer than 3,000 spectators each day at Bridgetown, and even Grenada's inaugural Test failed to bring out the locals in their expected numbers.
Tests: West Indies 0 New Zealand 1 Drawn 1
ODIs: West Indies 3 New Zealand 1
2006 (New Zealand)
Chris Cairns appeared in New Zealand colours for one final time as the tour opened with a T20, which the home side won via a bowl-out. Inadequate totals and reactive captaincy from Shivnarine Chanderpaul left West Indies on the brink of a whitewash before a consolation win in the fifth and final ODI. Brian Lara's return to the helm for the three Tests heralded hopes of a turnaround, and his side put up a much better show in the opening match. The openers themselves rattled off 148 of the 291 needed for victory, but a Shane Bond five-for engineered a familiar batting collapse that resulted in West Indies falling short by 27 runs. Recovery from the "devastating" loss proved too tall a task according to Chris Gayle, and a 10-wicket drubbing in the second Test sealed the series for New Zealand, who had stretched their record for consecutive Test wins to five. The final Test was marred by so much rain that only 78 overs could be bowled, during the course of which West Indies managed a far more positive batting display.
Tests: New Zealand 2 West Indies 0 Drawn 1
ODIs: New Zealand 4 West Indies 1
T20s: New Zealand 1 West Indies 0
2008 (New Zealand)
A change of leadership placed West Indies in better stead on their next tour to New Zealand as Chris Gayle assumed captaincy and upped his game to fit the extra responsibility. His 197 - to break a century drought lasting three years - was pivotal to turning the second Test around as West Indies came from behind to draw it. He had showed similar form in the first match as well, but the spotlight was stolen by fast bowler Jerome Taylor's maiden Test century. Shivnarine Chanderpaul's Test tally surpassed Sir Garry Sobers, and both matches were drawn. Two T20s followed and West Indies celebrated Boxing Day with a thrilling Super Over victory, but could not seal the series in the subsequent match. Rain and a shocking collapse by the visitors in the third ODI ruined an otherwise closely contested five-match series, which New Zealand took 2-1. Martin Guptill became the first New Zealand batsman to score a century on his ODI debut.
Tests: New Zealand 0 West Indies 0 Drawn 2
ODIs: New Zealand 2 West Indies 1 No result 2
T20s: New Zealand 1 West Indies 1
2012 (West Indies and the USA)
In keeping with the narrative of forgettable tours among these two teams, New Zealand could manage only one victory out of nine matches which led John Wright, the outgoing coach, to part with stern words to his batsmen. West Indies, on the other hand, reaped plenty of positives: they had beaten a team other than Zimbabwe or Bangladesh in Tests for the first time in three years. Chris Gayle celebrated reintegration to the Test side with a rapid 150 that sealed the first Test in West Indies' favour. Marlon Samuels lived up to his potential as he singlehandedly kept West Indies alive in the second Test with a century that eventually proved to be match-winning. In Sunil Narine and Kemar Roach, they had found quality strike bowlers. New Zealand did have the consolation of Martin Guptill's consistency, but on all three occasions on which he crossed fifty, he could not kick and make it really count. Gayle extended his form into the limited-overs series with two fifties that set up a T20 sweep, and a ton in the fifth of the five-match ODI series which the hosts won 4-1.
Tests: West Indies 2 New Zealand 0
ODIs: West Indies 4 New Zealand 1
T20s: West Indies 2 New Zealand 0
2013 (New Zealand)
A tour arguably best remembered for Corey Anderson usurping the record for the fastest ODI hundred - a whirlwind effort that took only 36 balls on New Year 's Day. He took 11 more deliveries to finish on 131 not out, with 14 hits muscled over the fence. But things had not begun so rosily for New Zealand in the series. In the first Test, with a cushion of 398 runs, they enforced the follow-on. Darren Bravo produced a masterful double-century and batted for over a day to defy the hosts. A timely rain break supported his marathon effort on the final day, stalling New Zealand's chase when they needed just 33 more runs, and the visitors had snatched an improbable draw. However, when you lose 16 wickets in a day - as West Indies did in the next Test - and follow it (in the third match) up by being all out inside a session, "some careers are on the line", like West Indies' captain Darren Sammy said. Ross Taylor did his chance of becoming one of New Zeaalnd's greats no harm with three successive Test centuries, including an unbeaten 217. Trent Boult also showed what he was capable of, snaring 20 wickets in three matches, as New Zealand defeated West Indies 2-0. The Twenty20s were a no-contest, with Luke Ronchi playing match-winning innings in both games.
Tests: New Zealand 2 West Indies 0 Drawn 1
ODIs: New Zealand 2 West Indies 2 No result 1
T20s New Zealand 2 West Indies 0
Martin Williamson is managing editor of Cricinfo