West Indies v New Zealand, 3rd Test, Bridgetown, 5th day June 30, 2014

Boult, Southee script series win


New Zealand 293 (Neesham 78, Benn 5-93) and 331 for 7 dec (Williamson 161*, Roach 4-55) beat West Indies 317 (Brathwaite 68, Wagner 4-64) and 254 (Holder 52, Southee 3-28, Boult 3-49) by 53 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Trent Boult and Tim Southee shepherded New Zealand to their first series win away from home against a top-eight nation in 12 years.

New Zealand's declaration with an overnight lead of 307 had lazily been dubbed brave. The fact that they were away from home would have been discussed. The criticism they would invite if West Indies overhauled the target and claim the series had the potential to frighten. But Brendon McCullum does not appear a captain who prefers the safe route. Moreover, in Boult and Southee, he had two exceptional new-ball bowlers, who would be operating against a depleted batting line-up. It wasn't a punt. McCullum was simply giving his bowlers the time they would need to dismiss the opposition, especially with showers predicted. Two of them did interrupt play, but in the end they contributed to a stunning finish as the Test went down to the final hour.

It took Jason Holder, a debutant at No. 7, to provide the hosts' strongest source of resistance. He sustained a painful blow to the thumb while tackling a short-ball barrage but shook it off. After some time at the crease, he even took them on and when the ball ventured closer to his half, he played some sweet drives to fuel the innings' only half-century. Shane Shillingford provided dogged support as the eighth wicket contributed 77 runs. He weaved under bouncers, took body blows when the fifth-day pitch misbehaved and hit out with impressive power but their efforts could not resurrect a poor top-order performance.

Boult's skill in swinging the ball both ways left the batsmen noticeably unsure. Kraigg Brathwaite shouldered arms to a rousing indipper that slid off his pad to cannon into off stump. Kirk Edwards followed the same method but had managed to protect his stumps with his pads. Boult flew into an appeal and the umpire obliged, but DRS surprisingly indicated that the ball would have bounced over off stump. Edwards survived but he was clearly shaken. Another lovely delivery - this one eased across the right-hander - took the outside edge and found Ross Taylor at second slip.

A sedate Chris Gayle was hoping to occupy the crease until New Zealand's momentum eased off. However, Southee enticed him with a fuller delivery and a booming drive ended up deflecting the ball back onto his stumps. West Indies had crumbled to 31 for 3 and were eyeing another collapse in the face. Shivnarine Chanderpaul abated those concerns for a brief period but traipsed down the track against offspinner Mark Craig to be stumped for the first time in 266 innings to leave his side reeling again.

Southee pierced through the middle order with an intelligent exhibition of seam bowling. He had a battle of patience with Darren Bravo, who had seemed intent on making up for a loose shot in the first innings. He was tight around his off stump and held his drives in check for 97 balls. Then came the teaser outside off and Bravo just couldn't help himself - he perished at gully for the second time in the match. Denesh Ramdin succumbed soon after and a lengthy tail was exposed.

Craig did his bit to assist the seamers and with ample assistance from a worn pitch, he was able to generate good flight and dip to ensure the batsmen were being strangled from both ends. His heroics with the bat have overshadowed his primary responsibility but today he was key in quelling the lower order's defiance. New Zealand have looked an impressive outfit over their home summer but success on the road would rank all the more sweeter - it was only their fifth away Test win in five years.

Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • charlie on July 3, 2014, 3:14 GMT

    To win a test match with four bowlers all of whom were returning after being out for long periods and seven batsmen ,some of whom were also returning ,or playing for the first time , could be considered fortunate rather than being a measure of a better team ,as compared to that of the final test . How long could WI go with such a setup where one bowler has to bowl so many overs ? WI need more multi-talented players amongst other disciplines ,in order to move forward with other teams . To those WI fans ,please don't select or deselect a player based on anything other than the player's record .

  • ESPN on July 3, 2014, 1:25 GMT

    If you agree with the WICB , then you should not be surprised with the results and the results to come. If however, you want a change in our fortunes, then there must be some changes in the management of the team. It is I guess too much to expect for our beloved coach to do the honorable thing and step aside given the abysmal performance for the past years.

  • Ant on July 2, 2014, 9:46 GMT

    Black caps, 3 series, 3 times victors. If they can somehow pull off a 4th in the UAE, comparisons with the Hadlee Era will become apparent

  • Hildreth on July 2, 2014, 9:28 GMT

    VERY SIMPLE WICB. Get rid of the folks that keep making non-sensical decisions re TEAM SELECTION & STRATEGY. How do you explain Windies were badly beaten in first test with 2 seamers in Roach & Taylor and 2 spinners in Benn & Shillingford. Changes were made to the team in 2nd test by playing a 3rd seamer in Gabriel in place of Shillingford and including 2 new batsmen in Brathwaite & Blackwood to replace under-performing batters Powell & Samuels. Guess what ?? The CHANGES WORKED and Windies won by ten wkts. Both batsmen performed magnificently and although Gabriel didn't take many wkts his pace and hostility was uncomfortable for the Kiwi batsmen. Also don't forget it was Gabriel who ended stubborn Kiwi resistance in their 2nd inning when many shoulders were sagging around him. So his efforts should not be discounted. So batters and bowlers did their jobs to land us an excellent win in 2nd test. Come 3rd test & wisdom: "NEVER CHANGE A WINNING TEAM" was tossed out. The rest is HISTORY.

  • Magic on July 2, 2014, 0:26 GMT

    To those of you who say Blackwood should have played instead of Shillingford, explain how this would have helped the Windies. Would we have won? Drawn the match? Please explain. While Shillingford was picked as a bowler and he didn't take a wicket, he has been the Windies most successful bowler over the past two years. So it made sense to play him. So he didn't perform with the ball in this match. Neither did Taylor. Maybe Blackwood should have played instead of Taylor. Now, Shillingford was left not out in both innings, had Blackwood played and done the same, how would that have changed the match outcome? In the second innings, Shillingford batter longer than anyone other West Indian with the exception of Bravo, faced more balls than anyone else. Had Blackwood played and done the same, how would it have changed the match outcome? By the way, check the series averages and you'll see who had the top batting average for the Windies

  • Magic on July 2, 2014, 0:11 GMT

    "It took Jason Holder, a debutant at No. 7, to provide the hosts' strongest source of resistance." Are you joking? Holder batted well. Better than most. But it took Shillingford to provide the greatest resistance. An analysis of the stats will show that Shillingford batter longer than everyone bar Bravo, faced more balls than anyone. And he batted at number 9 as opposed to Holder at 7. Holder must be complemented for fighting. The evidence shows Shillingford fought harder. And, in the end, Shillingford was the one left not out. For the second time in the match. No wonder he had the highest average among all Windies batters.

  • giovaughn on July 1, 2014, 20:31 GMT

    there are a few reasons for west indies losing this test series. on the field the windies batsmen failed to carry on when they got starts & the fielding was very shabby @ times. quite a few catches were dropped & byes were gifted. but i believe almost as important a factor as those i mentioned before was the fact that Gibson, The Selectors & Windies management did not want to win they only put up a front. yes thankfully they finally decided to get rid of Sammy who was most often than not dead-weight , but to leave sunil narine out of the entire series was nothing short of criminal. his record against the kiwis speaks for itself & if they felt compelled to teach him a lesson they could easily have decided to postpone his suspension until the series vs Bangladesh later this year. we do not need Narines doosra to beat Bangladesh but it is obvious the kiwis fear facing this deliver & having a bowlijng option capable of bowling it legally could have been beneficial, maybe definitive.

  • Sridhar on July 1, 2014, 16:13 GMT

    Ideal test for Shiv to win and stamp his mark. Unfortunately, did not take it - he is one of my heroes and I am a little disappointed he didn't grab this chance with both hands.

  • Jitendra on July 1, 2014, 15:17 GMT

    All this praise of Mccullum's captaincy and in general hype about this "away" series win seems a little overboard to me. Come on, they won against WI. Do we remember when was the last time WI has played competitive Test cricket? This was a performance against a mediocre team by a slightly better than a mediocre team. And that's abut it. Can we leave it at that and move on?

  • Dummy4 on July 1, 2014, 13:59 GMT

    Kane Williamson - A legend in the making! The picture perfect replica of the great Nathan Astle. Take a bow bro, you are absolutely awesome.

    If you are a captain, you must trust your boys. Baz has done that - Full credit goes to you sir, you are such a great leader. Hearty congratz from Sri Lanka :)

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