Collapse sends Windies to crushing innings loss

Collapse sends Windies to crushing innings loss
04 Dec
2017

A spineless batting effort sent West Indies crashing to an innings and 67-run defeat to New Zealand, as the Caribbean side tamely conceded the opening Test inside four days early Monday.

Entering the penultimate day at the Basin Reserve brimming with confidence following an encouraging display on Sunday, West Indies’ enterprise deserted them as they collapsed from a promising 214 for two overnight to 319 all out in their second innings.

They were 231 for no further loss inside the first half-hour but dramatically lost their last eight wickets for 88 runs, to be bowled out about 50 minutes after lunch.

Opener and vice-captain Kraigg Brathwaite, unbeaten overnight on 79, top-scored with 91 while Shai Hope moved from 24 at the start to 37, but none of the Windies batsmen could muster the required commitment to stretch the contest into the fifth day.

Matt Henry added another scalp to end with three for 57 but it was his fellow seamers Colin de Grandhomme (2-40), Trent Boult (2-87) and Neil Wagner (2-102) who scythed through the middle and lower order to set up the comprehensive win.

The defeat was the seventh in 11 Tests on New Zealand soil for West Indies inside the last 17 years, and their third innings loss in four defeats straight defeats in Wellington, dating back to 1999.

For New Zealand, the win gave them a precious 1-0 lead in the two-match series, ensuring they extended their record of not having lost a series to the Windies at home in 22 years.

There were no signs of the collapse when Brathwaite and Hope were busy extending their third wicket stand to 65, as West Indies safely navigated the first half-hour.

Brathwaite had moved into the 90s and was in sight of his seventh Test hundred when he misjudging the length of one from left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner, played back and was adjudged lbw on review.

He faced 221 balls in a shade over 3-1/4 hours at the crease and counted eight fours and a six.

West Indies then suffered two key blows when Hope was caught at gully by captain Kane Williamson off Boult – failing to keep down one that lifted – and Chase chopped on a cut at a wide ball from Henry to depart for 18.

On 273 for five, debutant Sunil Ambris (18) and wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich (3) steered West Indies to lunch on 286 without further loss, but the innings quickly unraveled thereafter.

Ambris poked aimlessly at the first ball after the break from de Grandhomme to give Ross Taylor a simple catch catch at slip and Dowrich followed in the next over also without adding to his lunch time score, caught at point off Wagner.

The end came swiftly for the Windies as Kemar Roach was hit plumb in front by de Grandhomme for seven, captain Jason Holder (7) miscued a pull at Wagner and was taken at square leg and Miguel Cummins was bowled by Boult for 14.

West Indies travel to Hamilton for the final Test starting at Seddon Park on December 9.