Dominant West Indies seal series - 08-05-2012, 03:00 PM
Kemar Roach and Shivnarine Chanderpaul were involved in a half-century stand (file photo) © DigicelCricket.com/Brooks LaTouche Photography
The end came sooner than the clouds. West Indies began the day needing 71 with six wickets in hand, but there were no twists as the hosts knocked off the required runs in just over an hour and secured a 2-0 series win, their first against a team other than Bangladesh and Zimbabwe in the last three years. There were fears that the tropical storm, Ernesto, would wash away the last two days of the Test, but much to the relief of the home side the players woke up to clear skies. Kemar Roach and Shivnarine Chanderpaul played contrasting knocks but extinguished any fears that West Indies could capitulate in the anxiety of pushing for that elusive series win.
Roach, who came in as the nightwatchman, was the revelation, outscoring Chanderpaul with enterprising shots. West Indies had the edge by the end of the third day but given their propensity to collapse, a couple of early wickets would have redressed the balance. The aim would have been to dislodge Chanderpaul early, but New Zealand found Roach a handful. His plan was to be positive and he wasn't afraid to drive on the up. New Zealand, expectedly, set attacking fields but he managed to find the gaps.
Roach got the chase rolling with a fierce straight drive off Tim Southee, and later in the over smacked a short one over point. Roach's aggression took the pressure off Chanderpaul, who dropped anchor at the other end and didn't give the bowlers an inch. Roach rubbed it in further by slapping a short delivery from Neil Wagner past cover to bring up the fifty stand. The writing was on the wall for New Zealand.
Roach missed out on a half-century, though, when he drove hard at Kane Williamson and got a thick outside edge to point. When he departed, West Indies were just 23 away from victory. Narsingh Deonarine, who gave New Zealand headaches with his off spin, unleashed a couple of boundaries to take West Indies closer just as the clouds started to appear. The final honours went to Chanderpaul, who dabbed Williamson to third man to bring up West Indies' first series win against New Zealand since 1996, and their first clean sweep since the 2002 series in Bangladesh.
New Zealand, though, failed to give their outgoing coach John Wright a winning farewell. Defeat rounded off a difficult tour, in which they lost the T20s 2-0 and the one-dayers 4-1. They won't have much time to rectify those errors, with the tour of India coming up in a few weeks.
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