Bold New Zealand Clinch Series
New Zealand 293 & 331-7 declared beat
West Indies 317 & 254 (Holder 52) by 53 runs
Third Test, Barbados
New Zealand clinched just their second ever Test series win in the West Indies after boldly declaring overnight and then dismissing their hosts for 254 in the decisive third game in Barbados.
After rain ended day four prematurely, they were set to resume on 331 for seven but instead declared to set the West Indies 308 to win.
Further rain, and a half-century from debutant Jason Holder threatened to derail their challenge until they bowled their hosts out shortly after they began the final hour of play.
Trent Boult, Tim Southee and Mark Craig all took three wickets to hand New Zealand a 2-1 series win.
They won the opening Test in Jamaica by 186 runs before the West Indies hit back in Trinidad with a 10-wicket success.
Here, the declaration left the West Indies a chance of victory, but they would have needed a better start than what they managed, slipping to 31 for three after 10 overs.
Kraigg Brathwaite (6) made a horrendous misjudgement as he left a Boult delivery onto his stumps, Kirk Edwards (10) edged two fours to third man before finding Ross Taylor at slip off Boult and Southee swung one past Gayle's defences to bowl him for 11.
Shivnarine Chanderpaul (25 in 70 balls) and Darren Bravo (40 in 98) then guided the West Indies to lunch, which was taken early due to some rain.
The weather cleared, however, and would bring no further solace for the home side.
Bravo and Chanderpaul added exactly 50 together before the latter was out stumped for the first time in his Test career courtesy of an extremely sharp bit of week by BJ Watling as Chanderpaul played and missed at off-spinner Craig.
Denesh Ramdin played fluently, no mean feat given the worn nature of the pitch, making his way to 29 in 47 balls but a double blow which saw both he and Bravo depart within the space of two Southee overs gave New Zealand the upper hand.
Taylor was again in action at slip, taking a good catch to remove Ramdin before Bravo edged to Kane Williamson in the gully for the second time in the match - a weakness mercilessly exploited by skipper Brendon McCullum.
Birthday boy Kemar Roach offered little resistance, making just seven before he lobbed a catch to Tom Latham at short leg to give Craig his second wicket.
Then came some resistance which caused New Zealand a few problems as Holder hit 52 in 79 balls and Shane Shillingford an unbeaten 30 in 101.
The former hit three fours and a six, showing the way he batted in the first innings, making 38, was no fluke, while Shillingford hit a brace of fours and together they pushed the score along to 221; while the win still looked highly unlikely, saving the game was not out of the question.
It was Craig who finally got the breakthrough, bowling Holder with a nondescript delivery that looked easier to hit than miss.
Sulieman Benn hit 10 runs in as many balls but when he drove Neil Wagner straight to Southee at short extra cover the Black Caps were just one wicket away from a famous win.
Jerome Taylor, a man who scored a century against New Zealand in Dunedin in 2008, dealt only in boundaries, hitting three of them during his 21-ball stay at the crease.
It couldn't last, and after New Zealand lost a review trying to get leg before decision when the ball hit the Jamaican's bat, they had their man when he was legitimately and obviously trapped in front by Boult.
Inevitably, Taylor reviewed the decision but New Zealand did not have to wait long to start the celebrations.
Their win here represented a fine comeback, given that they were bowled out for 293 on the opening day and conceded a first-innings lead.
That owed plenty to Kane Williamson's 161 not out, an innings which put them far enough ahead for McCullum to gamble on a declaration other captains would not have considered.
It paid off handsomely but both sides deserve credit for producing some excellent cricket during a captivating three-match series.
© Cricket World 2014