Second Test Match

New Zealand v West Indies 1999-2000

At Basin Reserve, Wellington, December 26, 27, 28, 29. New Zealand won by an innings and 105 runs. Toss: West Indies. Test debut: M. S. Sinclair.

Having put New Zealand in, West Indies were dismayed to find that the green, evenly grassed pitch offered neither bounce nor movement. They bowled without discipline, giving too much width to Mathew Sinclair, 24, who made easily the highest score by a New Zealander on debut, a chanceless 214 in 534 minutes. With the series effectively lost by the end of the second day, West Indies batted with neither sufficient skill nor stomach, though they were handicapped by the absence of Ganga in both innings after he fractured a finger in the field. New Zealand impressed with thoughtful, at times aggressive, bowling and tenacious fielding. Nash received a warning from the match referee, Raman Subba Row, for verbal abuse.

Only R. E. "Tip" Foster, with 287 for England at Sydney in 1903-04, made more as a debutant than Sinclair, who had replaced the injured Horne. After getting off the mark with an inside edgefor four off Walsh, Sinclair barely put a foot wrong, playing positively at first to reach 50 off 65 balls. Having made his hundred off 164, he then dug in, facing 451 in all. He hit all but four of his 22 boundaries - most off the back foot - in an arc between third man and extra cover, an area that was heavily patrolled, and only two on his much weaker leg side, both behind square. Only once did West Indies persuade him to hook or pull; their fault lay in failing to bowl straight enough at him.

Fleming, with whom Sinclair added 164 in 57 overs for the third wicket, made a disciplined 67 in three and a half hours. Astle's stay of just over four - in which they added 189, a New Zealand fourth-wicket record against West Indies - featured rasping drives and cuts, and ended when Rose ran him out, going for the second run that would have brought up Sinclair's double-hundred. By the time Rose cut through the tail as the third new ball, unlike the first two, swung generously, New Zealand were already comfortably past their previous highest total against West Indies on home soil.

New Zealand then dismissed their opponents cheaply, thanks to Cairns's aggression and Vettori's attrition. Cairns claimed his ninth five-wicket haul in Tests, while Vettori, bowling into Wellington'snotoriously strong wind, simply wore the many left-handers down by pitching into the rough outside their off stump. Only Lara played him with conviction until, trying for the umpteenth time to kick him away, he was bowled by a ball that rebounded on to his stumps via pad flap and glove. It was a cruel end to the sort of responsible innings that had been so badly needed in the First Test. Once his partnership of 112 with Griffith was broken, West Indies quickly subsided and were asked to follow on. Griffith, a model of concentration, resisted 345 minutes for his 67.

West Indies began their second innings, 339 adrift, just before the end of the third day. They looked to have an outside chance of survival at 148 for two a few overs before tea on the fourth day, particularly as Cairns was restricted by a sore back. Lara and Chanderpaul had added 65 in 22 overs without any real difficulty, but then a familiar collapse ensued. Nash, bowling well on a pitch that had become low and slow, had Chanderpaul and Adams caught behind with two good deliveries from round the wicket, the first straightening, the second lifting off a length, and he and Parore combined again to end another responsible innings from Lara, who was palpably unlucky with the decision. Nash's influence extended to his fielding, for he ran out the adhesive Griffith with an athletic dive and pinpoint throw on the turn. New Zealand completed their first innings victory over West Indies, and a 2-0 series win, when Cairns trapped Rose, his 150th Test victim.

Man of the Match: M. S. Sinclair.

© John Wisden & Co