The Report by Andrew Fidel Fernando
The defiance that West Indies had found on day three wilted, their wickets fell in a heap for the second time in the Test, and New Zealand sped to an innings-and-67-run victory – the hosts’ quicks having wiped the opposition out with the second new ball. Following the top-order partnerships West Indies had mounted on Sunday, it was the rate of their demise on Monday that was dispiriting. They added only 105 to the overnight score, and lost their last seven wickets for 62 runs, in the space of 20 overs.
The New Zealand quicks shared the wickets around, as the opposition perished to a series of poor strokes. Matt Henry added the wicket of Roston Chase to the two dismissals he had effected on day three, to finish with figures of 3 for 57. Trent Boult, Neil Wagner and Colin de Grandhomme claimed two wickets apiece meanwhile – Wagner’s wickets particularly significant, after he had been clobbered by the top order on Sunday.
This result means that New Zealand go to the second Test without having been stretched at Wellington. Although there were difficult moments in the field, particularly while Shimron Hetmyer and Kraigg Brathwaite batted together on the third evening, no bowler was required to deliver more than 45 overs in the Test, and at no point did West Indies muster a century stand.
It was the wicket of innings top-scorer Brathwaite – the only dismissal that went to a spinner in this innings – that set West Indies’ slide into motion. Having begun the day on 79, Brathwaite had progressed without incident into the 90s, as New Zealand rested their frontline quicks so they might be deployed only after the second new ball became available. Even before the 80th over rolled around, however, Brathwaite lost his wicket. Having nudged a legside Mitchell Santner delivery to the fine leg boundary, he misjudged the pace of the very next Santner delivery, and it brushed his back pad before it hit his bat. The ensuing lbw appeal was turned down on the field, but the batsman was given out upon review. Only 17 runs had been added to the overnight score at that stage.
Summarized scores: New Zealand 520 for 9 dec. (Blundell 107*, de Grandhomme 105, Roach 3-85) beat West Indies 134 (Wagner 7-39) and 319 (Brathwaite 91, Hetmyer 66, Henry 3-57, de Grandhomme 2-40) by an innings and 67 runs