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At St George's, Grenada, June 28, 29, 30, July 1, 2. Drawn. Toss: West Indies. Test debut: S. B. Styris.
New Zealand were made to fight for the draw that guaranteed them victory in this brief series. Their hero was Styris, who marked his Test debut with a hundred - batting at No. 8 - to lead them out of trouble on the second day, and an unbeaten 69 on the last which, along with Hart and rain, staved off a late West Indian bid for victory.
Hooper won his sixth toss in the home season's seven Tests and, for the fifth time, chose to bowl; for the fourth time, the opposition responded by totalling over 300. The foundations were laid in a 123-run partnership between Richardson and Astle. Then Collins, taking the new ball, removed Richardson, on 95, when his top-edged hook was athletically caught by Gayle at long leg. Collins added the night-watchman in the closing over of the day and Astle with his first ball next morning. That left New Zealand an uncertain 208 for six, the cue for Styris's entrance. When he was last out to a wild shot 165 runs later, he had made 107 from 178 balls - the seventh New Zealander to score a Test century on debut. Hart and Bond provided stout support.
The West Indian response was based on Gayle's belligerent double-hundred. It featured strokes of breathtaking power, including huge sixes off Butler and Bond, and four consecutive fours, of 29 all told, in Butler's first over with the second new ball. Gayle reached his second Test century in 212 balls, ran up the next 100 in 115, and faced 332 in all, in eight hours. But he had some luck: an escape at 93 when umpire Venkat ruled not out on an edge off Butler, and missed chances off Bond at 136 and 199. He shared stands of 100 with Sarwan and 143 with Chanderpaul before he finally fell to Bond, who added Chanderpaul with his second delivery next morning. Bond finished with five victims for the second time in a week, but the tail had carried the lead to 97.
Richardson and Vincent, who was missed twice in the slips off Collins on two, erased the deficit. Then the spinners threatened to turn the game. In a couple of hours either side of the fourth-day close, they claimed five wickets for 40 on a wearing but slow pitch to give West Indies a scent of victory. New Zealand were only 60 ahead with half the side out, and McMillan was being held in reserve after a hand injury in the field required three stitches. He was not needed. Styris and Hart calmed nerves in a stand of 99 interrupted only by rain sweeping across the ground from the eastern hills. It permitted only 23 overs after lunch, and the match was safe.
Crowds at the Queen's Park Stadium, Test cricket's 84th and newest venue, gradually grew over the five days to three-quarters of its 14,000 capacity. But Hooper was moved to quip that he suspected the lifeless pitch had been transplanted from the cemetery overlooking the ground, which made it all the stranger that he had seemed so reluctant to bat on it.
Man of the Match: C. H. Gayle.
Man of the Series: S. E. Bond.
Close of play: First day, New Zealand 208-5 (Astle 69, McMillan 1); Second day, West Indies 63-1 (Gayle 23, Sarwan 22); Third day, West Indies 394-5 (Chanderpaul 51, Jacobs 2); Fourth day, New Zealand 139-2 (Richardson 69, Harris 6).