BLACKCAPS take rare away series victory

BLACKCAPS take rare away series victory

Day five: BLACKCAPS 331-7 (Kane Williamson 153*, Jimmy Neesham 51) and 293 beat the West Indies 317 and 254 (Tim Southee 3-16, Trent Boult 3-48) by 53 runs at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados.

A classy display of seam bowling by Tim Southee and Trent Boult handed the BLACKCAPS victory in the third Test against the West Indies and with it a rare away series win. The last time the BLACKCAPS won an away Test series was at the same venue 12 years ago when a solitary Test victory gave the Kiwis the series win 
1-0. Not since 1999 in England have the BLACKCAPS won an away Test series that included three or more matches.


The BLACKCAPS declared overnight at 331-7 and the seam attack of Boult and Southee immediately put the West Indies openers under pressure. In just the third over Boult ripped out Kraigg Brathwaite’s off stump to have him gone for six.

Four overs later Boult had Kirk Edwards in all sorts of trouble as he edged firstly to between second and third slips, and then two balls later the edge fell into the safe hands of Ross Taylor, taking a sharp catch down low to his left.
The dangerman Chris Gayle remained the biggest threat to a BLACKCAPS victory until Southee joined in the morning’s demolition. He enticed Gayle into an expansive drive that only found the inside edge on to his stumps. Gayle was gone for 11 and the home side’s top order had collapsed to be 31-3.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Darren Bravo steadied the ship at 72-3 when an early lunch was taken due to rain. Chanderpaul didn’t last long after lunch as he was stumped for the first time in his long career. Mark Craig tempted him forward and BJ Watling did the rest with the gloves to dismiss the man who can bat for weeks.

After another short break for rain, Southee knocked off the last two recognised batsmen. He firstly had Denesh Ramdin caught at first slip by Taylor for 29 and then Bravo was caught at gully by Kane Williamson for 40, meaning the West Indies’ long tail was exposed.
Craig tempted Kemar Roach to lob one to Tom Latham at short leg for seven. 

The BLACKCAPS went into the last session with three wickets needed for the win - but Jason Holder and Shane Shillingford frustrated them for a partnership of 77, thanks to some very positive strokeplay. There were nervous glances toward the ever decreasing runs required figure, until Mark Craig removed Holder by bowling him through his legs for a fine 52. From there it was more straightforward, with Sulieman Benn popping Neil Wagner, who had bowled aggressively for little reward, to Southee at mid off. 

In the third over with the second new ball Trent Boult wrapped things up, trapping Jerome Taylor lbw, a simple decision for the third umpire on the obligatory review, to give the BLACKCAPS the win by 53 runs and the series 2-1.  

Williamson was named man-of-the-match after his unbeaten 161 in the second innings. He also collected the man-of-the-series award - scoring 413 runs at an average of 82.6, including 113 in the first Test victory in Jamaica.


Day four: BLACKCAPS 331-7 (Kane Williamson 161*, Jimmy Neesham 51) and 293 lead West Indies 317 by 307 runs at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados.

Kane Williamson reached 150 for the first time in his Test career as he anchored a strong New Zealand second innings.  The 23-year-old was in total control of his innings as he brought up his century, his highest Test score, and then toppled the 150 mark. 

He found able partners in Jimmy Neesham (51) and BJ Watling (29) to take New Zealand to a lead of 307 heading into the final day.

Williamson and captain Brendon McCullum resumed on day four at 123-3 but the skipper only added two runs to his overnight score before he was gone lbw to Kemar Roach for 25.

Neesham and Williamson then built a very productive partnership that contributed 91 runs and featured two milestones. Firstly Williamson brought up his seventh Test century off 173 balls, celebrating in his typically low key way while his team-mates were on their feet in the pavilion.

Soon after Neesham collected his second half century of the match after 78 in the first innings. Sadly, he drove the next ball from Jason Holder straight to Kraigg Brathwaite at short cover - gone for 51 after a very entertaining innings featuring four sixes.

After lunch Williamson and his good mate BJ Watling continued their 79-run partnership until Watling was caught at point by Holder for 29 giving Roach his 100th Test wicket.

Williamson continued to knock off the milestones as he firstly overtook his highest Test score of 135 (against Sri Lanka in Colombo in November 2012) and then went on to the 150 mark before heavy rain stopped play midway through the second session.

There was a long delay before Williamson and Tim Southee resumed and looked to pick up the pace. Southee went for seven, popping a return catch to Jerome Taylor, while Mark Craig made his intentions clear by hitting the second ball he received for four. 

Unfortunately the rain returned and brought play to an end for the day, with Williamson on 161 and Craig on four. The big questions for tomorrow are on overnight declarations, and the weather. BLACKCAPS fans will pray that Barbados plays ball and this enthralling series can be decided uninterrupted.  

Tomorrow’s fifth day starts at the earlier time of 9.30am (1.30am NZ time).


Day three: BLACKCAPS 123-3 (Kane Williamson 58*) and 293 lead West Indies 317 (Kraigg Brathwaite 68, Kirk Edwards 58) by 99 runs at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados.

A much improved bowling effort, led by a four wicket bag from Neil Wagner, has the third and final Test against the West Indies evenly poised going into day four tomorrow. 

Resuming at the strong position of 169-2 in reply to New Zealand’s 293, the home side was removed just 24 runs ahead of the BLACKCAPS total thanks to a fine bowling effort from our seam attack.

After a poor start with the bat, Kane Williamson steadied the ship to be unbeaten on 58 and help the BLACKCAPS finish with a 99-run lead on 123-3.

After losing virtually all the afternoon’s play on day two due to rain, the BLACKCAPS bowling was much tighter this morning and Brendon McCullum constantly challenged the batsmen with some interesting field placements.

Wagner picked up the first wicket of the day as Darren Bravo drove a delivery straight into the safe hands of Williamson at gully.

Tim Southee sent the other established batsman Kirk Edwards back to the shed for 58 with a top edge that swirled in the air for a long time before Hamish Rutherford took a well-judged catch at mid-on.

And just before lunch Shivnarine Chanderpaul was also dismissed as he got a slight touch on a Wagner delivery down the leg side which BJ Watling took well.

The new ball after lunch was turned instantly into wickets with Trent Boult firstly getting Denesh Ramdin lbw after a very long shout which umpire Ian Gould finally raised the finger to. A review confirmed the umpire’s decision.

Then a cracking one-handed catch from BJ Watling had Kemar Roach heading back without scoring, giving Boult two wickets in as many overs with the new ball.

Jimmy Neesham and Wagner wrapped up the innings as firstly Neesham had Jason Holder caught behind for 38, and then Wagner ripped out the off stump of Sulieman Benn with a beauty of a delivery. The last wicket was Neesham’s as he yorked Jerome Taylor, leaving the West Indies with a total of 317 – 24 runs ahead of the BLACKCAPS first innings efforts.

Wagner finished with figures of four for 64, while Neesham (2-12) and Boult (2-71) collected a pair each.

Unfortunately the BLACKCAPS second innings would get off to a shaky start, with opener Tom Latham on his way back to the shed for a duck. His partner Rutherford followed him not long after, catching an edge on 19. 

Matters got worse when Ross Taylor fell for six to reduce the visitors to 68-3, but Williamson saw out the West Indies initial fury to keep the BLACKCAPS in the hunt. 

The 23-year-old survived a couple of early scares to build an unbeaten 55-run partnership with McCullum and see their side safely to stumps on day three. 

The two will be intent on continuing that stand and setting the West Indies a total of 300 plus on what will be a troublesome pitch to bat last on.

Tomorrow’s fourth day starts at the earlier time of 9.30am (1.30am NZ time).


Day two: BLACKCAPS 293 (James Neesham 78, Mark Craig 46*, Ross Taylor 45, Kane Williamson 43) v West Indies 169-2 (Kraigg Brathwaite 68) at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados.

The West Indies made a strong start to their first innings until heavy rain just after lunch meant the rest of day two was called off in the third and final Test.

Resuming at 32 without loss in reply to New Zealand’s 293, the home side took an aggressive approach in the morning session with Chris Gayle, Kraigg Brathwaite and then Kirk Edwards smashing some loose deliveries all round the park.

Off-spinner Mark Craig finally made the breakthrough. He got Gayle to sky one and it was caught at long on by Hamish Rutherford for 41 before the opener did any more damage.

Brathwaite brought up his 50 and was building a very threatening partnership with Edwards before Neil Wagner tempted him with a pitched-up delivery that was well caught by a diving Tim Southee at short cover. He departed for 68.

The West Indies went to lunch in a very comfortable position of 159-2. Just five overs after the break, the rain that had threatened all day finally eventuated and play was called off for the day with 10 runs added after lunch.

Tomorrow’s third day will start at 9.30am (1.30am NZ time).

Day one: BLACKCAPS 293 (James Neesham 78, Mark Craig 46*, Ross Taylor 45, Kane Williamson 43) lead West Indies 32-0 by 261 at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados.

Mid-innings wobbles again hit the BLACKCAPS as they struggled to a below par score of 293 on today’s opening day of the third and final Test against the West Indies. With several players getting starts but failing to push on, Jimmy Neesham and Mark Craig performed an admirable rear guard action to rescue the innings somewhat.

Brendon McCullum won the toss and chose to bat, as he did in the first two Tests. There was just one change to the BLACKCAPS XI for the match with seamer Neil Wagner replacing spinner Ish Sodhi, while the West Indies made two changes bringing in debutant Jason Holder and Shane Shillingford for Shannon Gabriel and Jermaine Blackwood.

The BLACKCAPS openers Tom Latham and Hamish Rutherford started positively despite the West Indies pacemen getting the ball to swing in the cloudy and windy conditions. Kemar Roach soon got the better of Rutherford as he drove in the air straight to Shivnarine Chanderpaul at mid-on – dismissed for just four runs.

And not long after Roach also claimed Latham lbw for 14. Our in-form opener had survived one lbw call, which he asked for the review on, but the next time he was walking. 

From 28-2, Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor steadied the innings to take the BLACKCAPS to 95-2 at lunch and the classy pair looked very comfortable on the way. They were sadly both undone shortly after lunch with Williamson edging Sulieman Benn to Darren Bravo at first slip for 43. Benn also removed Taylor with a brilliant catch in the gully to give Roach his third wicket of the day.

McCullum and Neesham ripped through a 50-run partnership at one day cricket pace before McCullum played a shot to a Benn delivery that he’d rather forget. The ball flew skyward and was caught by Bravo, the skipper departing for 31. BJ Watling, the leader of the second Test fightback, couldn’t repeat his efforts today going for one and it looked like the entertainer Tim Southee was about to follow when Denesh Ramdin took a diving catch down leg, but replays showed he'd grassed the catch and Southee was recalled. 
He was only able to add six before a quicker delivery from Benn clean bowled him. At tea the BLACKCAPS had reached 217-7 thanks to a very well-played half century from Neesham in only his fourth Test.

Neesham went along breezily, finding the boundary regularly all around the wicket until he hesitated over a quick single and was run out at the bowler's end for 78 after a review. Craig dug in and was happy to take his time and occupy the crease with Neil Wagner, the only member of the side without a Test 50 to his name. 

Wagner went to a leg side strangle for two, caught by Ramdin from Roach. Trent Boult went on the attack, putting Benn back over his head for six, and Roach for four through the cover boundary. It wasn't to last, and he was stumped coming down the wicket to Benn, to give him a well deserved five wicket bag.   
The BLACKCAPS came out to bowl for an interesting period of play under some cloud cover. Chris Gayle got off to a shaky start and was almost stranded between the wickets in the first over, but Neesham was unable to make the pick up and throw for the run out. 

Boult and Southee got some movement through the air, and were able to put pressure on, but were unable to make the breakthrough. With two overs remaining Craig and Wagner were given an over each, but the opening pair survived to stumps to go into day two with all 10 wickets in hand.

BLACKCAPS: Hamish Rutherford, Tom Latham, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Brendon McCullum (c), James Neesham, BJ Watling (wk), Tim Southee, Mark Craig, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult.

West Indies: Chris Gayle, Kraigg Brathwaite, Kirk Edwards, Darren Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Denesh Ramdin (wk) and (c), Jason Holder, Kemar Roach, Jerome Taylor, Shane Shillingford, Sulieman Benn.

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