Windies suffer 2-0 sweep in New Zealand

Kraigg Brathwaite

HAMILTON, New Zealand – West Indies suffered a 2-0 clean sweep here Tuesday after New Zealand needed just two sessions to wreck the remainder of the Caribbean side’s innings and inflict a punishing 240-run defeat in the second Test at Seddon Park.

Resuming the penultimate day on 30 for two in pursuit of a world record 444 for victory, the Windies lost their last eight wickets for 173 runs, to be dismissed for 203 at the scheduled tea break.

The defeat followed on the heels of the innings and 67-run loss in the opening Test in Wellington, which also ended inside four days, and extended the Windies’ unenviable streak of having not won a series on New Zealand soil in 22 years.

Captain Kraigg Brathwaite said afterwards the Windies batting plan for the second innings never took shape.

“Individuals have different styles but the key was to take it over by over, session by session,” Brathwaite said. “Obviously it didn’t work out that way.

“[The message was] don’t think much about the 444 but take it over by over – unfortunately we didn’t do it.”

Roston Chase top-scored with 64 and tail-ender Kemar Roach entertained with 32, while Raymon Reifer resisted for 29, but none of the key batsmen stayed around long enough to turn the game into a real contest.

Their misery was compounded by the loss of Sunil Ambris who was forced to retire hurt on five with a broken arm, after being struck by a short ball from the aggressive left-arm pacer Neil Wagner.

Wagner claimed three for 42 while fellow seamers Trent Boult (2-52) and Tim Southee (2-71), along with left-arm spinner while left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner (2-13), all ended with two wickets each.

The signs were there from the first session when West Indies lost opener Brathwaite for 20, Shai Hope for 23 and wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich without scoring, to tumble to 106 for five at lunch.

Brathwaite, resuming on 13, was first to fall in the sixth over of the morning when his firm cut was taken at gully by captain Kane Williamson, to give Boult his 200th Test wicket.

Hope played a couple of beautiful drives but followed on the stroke of the first hour, caught at long leg hooking at Wagner, and Dowrich lasted just two balls before fending a short one from Wagner to short leg.

In free fall at the interval, the Windies found renewed hope in Chase and Reifer as they added 78 for the sixth wicket, to keep the Black Caps without success for the next hour.

Chase faced 80 balls and struck eight fours in just under three hours at the crease while Reifer stroked five boundaries in an innings lasting a shade over 2-1/2 hours and 109 deliveries.

The right-handed Chase appeared completely at ease until seemingly losing concentration in the second over following the drinks break, and falling to catch at deep backward square off an ill-advised hook at Wagner.

Reifer departed four overs later, brilliantly caught at gully by Williamson sparring at a wide ball from Southee, as the Black Caps closed in for the kill.

Roach then smashed a four and a six in a 44-ball cameo as he put on 37 for the eighth wicket with Miguel Cummins (9) but it was a partnership which only served to delay the inevitable.