West Indies finally broke the back of New Zealand’s resistance and romped to a 10-wicket victory after lunch on the final day of the second Test at Queen’s Park Oval on Saturday.
Set 93 runs to win after the Black Caps were dismissed for 331 in their second innings, attacking opening batsman Chris Gayle stole the show with an unbeaten 80 off just 46 balls as the home side romped to 95 without loss off 13.2 overs Saturday. The result leaves the series tied at 1-1 heading into the third and final Test starting on Thursday at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown. Gayle, who belted seven fours and six sixes, left Kraigg Brathwaite trailing in his wake. But it was the junior opening partner who took the Man-of-the-Match award for his first innings of 129. It was all very different at the start of the day, though, as New Zealand’s late-order defiance and unsettled weather caused the home side no end of anxiety, especially as sub-standard cricket contributed to their frustrations.
Starting the day at 257 for eight, just 18 runs ahead with only two wickets in hand, the Black Caps’ ninth-wicket pair of B.J. Watling and Mark Craig extended their partnership to 99, a new record in Tests for New Zealand against the West Indies. The Caribbean side broke through after 80 minutes’ play when Craig was caught by wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin for 67 off Kemar Roach, giving the pacer his fourth wicket of the innings.
Craig had continued to live a charmed life. In a bizarre sequence of events at the start of the final day, the left-hander edged through the slip cordon, was dropped by Benn at third slip and then had another edge missed by Chris Gayle low to his right at first slip when Ramdin chose not to attempt the catch.
Brief Scores: West Indies 460 (Kraigg Brathwaite 129, Darren Bravo 109, Jermaine Blackwood 63, Kirk Edwards 55; Ish Sodhi 4-96, Trent Boult 3-75) & 95-0 beat New Zealand 221 (Tom Latham 82; Jerome Taylor 4-34, Sulieman Benn 3-73) and 331 (B.J. Walting 66 n.o) by 10 wickets.