New Zealand's players pose for a photo after defeating the West Indies at Basin Reserve in Wellington on Monday. AP
New Zealand shot to the top of the world Test rankings on Monday when they thrashed the West Indies by an innings and 12 runs to wrap up an emphatic series win.
It lifted the Black Caps to 116 points, equal with Australia at the head of the rankings table, and also extended their unbeaten home run to 15 Tests.
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.
"It does sound pretty cool," said Tom Latham, New Zealand's stand-in captain while Kane Williamson is on paternity leave.
"I didn't realise that until this morning," he said of the rankings boost. "We have been playing some good cricket as of late in our conditions, and away for that matter, and it's a pretty cool thing."
Tom Latham holds the series trophy after their series win against West Indies. AFP
After Williamson pulled out on the eve of the second Test, Latham said the team stepped up with Henry Nicholls overcoming a form slump to score 174 and lay the foundations of the victory. Kyle Jamieson, in only his fourth Test, took five wickets in the first innings and two in the second to be man of the series.
Tim Southee took seven in the Test. New Zealand also won the first Test in Hamilton by an innings. "It was great for our squad that we do have depth where guys can come in and perform straight away," Latham said. But it was a disappointing tour for the West Indies, with both Tests ending on the fourth morning. They have now lost four in a row since beating England in Southampton in July.
'Not good enough'
Captain Jason Holder said they only had themselves to blame. "It's just tough when we didn't take our opportunities when they came. We were good in patches but still not good enough," he said.
"I don't think conditions were that tough in order to get runs. The wicket was a really good wicket. "We've just not been consistent over a period of time. We haven't been able to string it together, more often than not."
West Indies players and staff pose for a team photo on Monday. AFP
After losing the first Test in New Zealand by an innings and 134 runs, and being rolled for 131 in the first innings of the second Test, they saved their best for their final bat on tour, scoring 317 all out in their second innings.
The tourists resumed the day at 244 for six, needing a further 85 runs to make New Zealand bat again and with Jason Holder on 60 and Joshua da Silva on 25.
Holder added one to his overnight 60 before he was bowled by Tim Southee, who also had Alzarri Joseph caught behind after an entertaining 24 — all from boundaries.
Da Silva marked his maiden Test with a half-century but on 57 he fell lbw to Neil Wagner, who also bowled Shannon Gabriel without scoring to leave Chemar Holder not out 13.
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.
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.
The tourists, already 1-0 up in this three-match series, were 227-4 at tea on the fourth day, needing just 43 more runs to make England bat again in Manchester.
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