Hamilton: New Zealand’s bowlers steadily chipped away at the West Indies lineup to record a ruthless 240-run victory shortly before tea on the fourth day of the second Test at Seddon Park in Hamilton on Tuesday to wrap up a 2-0 series sweep.
Mitchell Santner took wickets on successive balls to end the tourists’ second innings on 203 for nine as they tried in vain to chase the 444 runs needed to secure an unlikely draw after New Zealand dominated the first Test in Wellington.
The hosts did not need to take all 10 wickets after Sunil Ambris retired hurt when a short Neil Wagner delivery broke his arm, as the visitors resumed on 30-2 and were never really able to establish a solid partnership throughout the day.
“New Zealand did a great job but when we batted we didn’t produce, especially in the first innings of the first test,” stand-in West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite said.
“Tough loss, but we saw on the bouncy pitches that we have to be better with our shot selection and we need to be more incisive.”
Trent Boult became the sixth New Zealander to claim 200 Test wickets when he had Brathwaite caught in the gully by skipper Kane Williamson for 20 to leave the visitors floundering at 43-3 and they failed to recover from the early blow.
“It was great to put two strong performances on the board. Credit to the way we stuck to our plans and executed them well in both games,” Williamson told reporters.
“Both teams fought really hard but it was nice for us to stick to our plans for long periods and get the rewards.”
Boult was not the only New Zealander to achieve a significant personal milestone during the game with Ross Taylor joining former mentor Martin Crowe and Williamson on 17 test centuries, the most by a New Zealander, on Monday.
Taylor finished on 107 not out when Williamson declared on 291-8 with about an hour’s play remaining on the third day.
Crowe, who died in 2016, has had a major impact on Taylor’s career, helping him transform from a swashbuckling, and at times impetuous, batsman into a player able to dominate attacks.
“At the start of my career if you’d told me I’d get 17 test hundreds, I’ve had said ‘no chance’,” Taylor told reporters after the milestone.
”I always thought I’d be just a white-ball player.
”(I) had some good nights with ‘Hogan’ (Crowe) over some red wine. Talking about my batting, and lot of it probably not positive.
“It came from a good place and I guess that’s why I‘m here.”