HAMILTON (NEW ZEALAND), Dec 6: New Zealand completed the first step of its mission for the home summer when it beat the West Indies by an innings and 134 runs on Sunday on the fourth morning of the first Test. The win began New Zealand�s drive to win all four of its home Tests against the West Indies and Pakistan this season which could lift it into the top two in Test rankings, depending on the series between Australia and India. A 2-0 series win over the West Indies likely will be enough to lift New Zealand above England into third place on WTC standings.
The first step on Sunday was decisive. The West Indies resumed at 196-6, still 185 runs behind New Zealand after being asked to follow on 381 runs in deficit on the first innings. They were finally all out for 247. �We knew the West Indies coming here were going to be a really tough challenge and we were fortunate to get off to a really good start in this match and hold that position,� New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said.
�Coming into today we also knew it was going to be tough. This West Indies side bat very deep and they showed that as their middle and lower order applied themselves very, very well.�
The stubborn seventh-wicket partnership between Jermaine Blackwood and Alzarri Joseph which prevented New Zealand from wrapping up the match on the third day by bowling out the West Indies twice in one day finally was broken in the 58th over of the innings, the 16th of the day on Sunday.
The partnership had been worth 107 runs by stumps on day three when Blackwood was 80 not out and Joseph was 59. The pair provided one of the few displays of defiance from the West Indies batsmen and the only one on Saturday when the tourists lost 15 wickets for 285 runs in 80 overs.
Brief scores: West Indies 138 and 247 all out (Jermaine Blackwood 104, Alzarri Joseph 86; Neil Wagner 4/66); New Zealand 519/7 declared. � AP