Jermaine Blackwood and Alzarri Joseph extended their partnership to 155 runs before Kyle Jamieson and Neil Wagner ripped through West Indies’ lower order to wrap up New Zealand’s victory in the first Test in Hamilton on Sunday.
The hosts won by an innings and 134 runs – their biggest win in terms of runs against West Indies. Jamieson and Wagner picked up the last three wickets in the space of 10 balls to hand New Zealand a 1-0 lead in the two-match series, which comes under the ICC World Test Championship.
West Indies began the day with only the barest hopes of saving the match, especially with Shane Dowrich unable to bat after injuring his hand during the first innings of the match. But Joseph and Blackwood continued their partnership, which was worth 107 runs overnight, starting the day with some disciplined batting.
They were not afraid of playing their shots when the ball called for it, however, and Joseph dispatched short balls from Tim Southee and Trent Boult over the rope in consecutive overs. The first was helped around the corner over fine leg, while the second was picked up cleanly over mid-wicket.
After a nervy few overs, and a battle of patience outside his off stump against Southee, Blackwood eventually reached his century with a scampered single to mid-on, just the second time he has got to three figures in his Test career.
Joseph meanwhile had moved to within sight of a century of his own. Before this innings, his highest score in Tests was 34, and while he has two first-class fifties to his name, becoming a centurion would have been new territory for the 24-year-old.
Unfortunately, it was not to be, as after several close calls fending off short balls from Wagner into a packed leg-side, Joseph fell to Jamieson, holing out to the off-side sweeper for 86.
With the partnership broken, New Zealand quickly polished off the innings, with Blackwood first falling victim to the same Wagner leg-side trap which had nearly got Joseph. Shannon Gabriel lasted just four balls before missing an attempted whack down the ground, leaving Wagner with figures of 4-66 and West Indies all out for 247.
The result sends New Zealand one step closer to earning their spot in the final of the ICC World Test Championship, with the 60 points helping them close in on England in third, who are just over three per cent ahead. The second and final Test begins on Friday, 11 December at Wellington.
New Zealand 1st Innings: 519-7 declared (K Williamson 251, T Lathman 86, K Jamieson 51; K Roach 3-114, S Gabriel 3-89)
West Indies 1st Innings: 138 all out (J Campbell 26, J Holder 25 not out; T Southee 4-35, K Jamieson 2-25, N Wagner 2-33)
West Indies 2nd Innings: 247 all out (J Blackwood 104, A Joseph 86; N Wagner 4-66, K Jamieson 2-42)
New Zealand won by an innings and 134 runs on Day 4