New Zealand's players celebrate their innings and 134 run win over the West Indies in Hamilton on Sunday. AP
Gulf Today Report
New Zealand defeated West Indies by an innings and 136 runs despite a gritty century by Jermaine Blackwood in Hamilton to take a 1-0 lead in the series.
With the victory, New Zealand also extended their unbeaten run to 14 Test matches in the home series.
New Zealand skittled out West Indies on day four for 247 after they followed on after being dismissed for a paltry 138 in their first innings in reply to a mammoth 519 for seven of the opponents.
Blackwood was the penultimate wicket to fall, for 104, after a 155-run stand with Alzarri Joseph who made 86.
The duo put up a resolute a 155-run partnership to delay the inevitable after a horrific day three, when they lost 15 wickets.
The victory was set up over the first two days when New Zealand captain Kane Williamson smashed a cracking 251. Williamson, himself, was startled by the statistic of unbeaten 14-match streak in home series.
"To be honest, I didn't know that was the case, but it's great. It was a really good performance for us to put together collectively," said Williamson.
"But we're not getting ahead of ourselves. It was nice we were able to put in a strong performance and for us it's about trying to improve little bits at a time in each game."
Jason Holder (L) congratulates Kane Williamson for victory in the first Test at Seddon Park. AFP
Although much has been made of New Zealand's green wickets, and in Hamilton it was a lush emerald, Williamson believed it was fair to both sides and the West Indies captain Jason Holder lamented the loss and urged his player to put up a better fighting spirit.
“We obviously didn't bat well," captain Jason Holder said. "In the initial stages of our innings we just need a little bit more
fight in those tough periods and get through.
"Kane showed us exactly how it's supposed to be done, that was a proper Test innings, being patient, buying time."
The West Indies lost 15 wickets on day three as Tim Southee led a masterclass of New Zealand swing bowling. It left the tourists going into the fourth day on the ropes at 196 for six in their second innings.
Blackwood and Joseph advanced the total to 244 before Kyle Jamieson and Neil Wagner combined to take the final three wickets in the space of 10 deliveries to help New Zealand draw first blood.
A resolute Kane Williamson, despite being troubled with cramp late in the day, scored a gritty 97 to steer New Zealand to 243 for two on day one of the first Test in Hamilton on Thursday.
New Zealand also stayed in the hunt for the inaugural World Test Championship final as they overtook England to move into third in the standings behind Australia and India, who start a four-Test series this week.
Faheem Ashraf was dismissed for 91, his highest Test score, just before the close of the third day’s play at Bay Oval as Pakistan were bowled out for 239, still 192 runs behind New Zealand’s 431.
Currently, Babar is placed at the top with 818 rating points, however, India's Suryakumar Yadav is not far behind as he has 805 rating points. Last week, he stood at 816 points, just two points shy of Babar.
The tournament will be held over the weekend of Feb.18-19, 2023 at Zayed City Sports Stadium, an iconic landmark in Abu Dhabi and the largest multi-purpose sports venue in the UAE.
The 73-year-old was on his way back home from Cape Town to Despatch in Eastern Cape, after a golf weekend when the tragic incident took place. Three others were also killed in the crash.