It wasn’t that New Zealand were totally outplayed during their two Test-match series against West Indies, as the 2-0 result may suggest. It was just that every time West Indies found themselves on the back foot or the Kiwis began to look threatening, someone or the other from the Caribbean camp stepped up to hand West Indies the upper hand. Here’s a look at the main performances during the two matches, which turned the series in the home side’s favour.
Sunil Narine: 5/132 at Antigua
The figures don’t look highly impressive, but Narine played a key role in West Indies fighting back in the first Test after New Zealand got off to a great start. Narine sent back Daniel Flynn for 45, Ross Taylor also for 45 and, most crucially Martin Guptill for 97. If either of the three players had gone on to register a hundred, New Zealand could have posted a 450 plus score. But, thanks to Narine they were restricted to 351.
Chris Gayle: 150 at Antigua
Even though the Windies restricted New Zealand to 351, it could have proved to be a match-winning score if the Kiwis had dismissed West Indies cheaply in their first innings. For that, they needed to get rid of Chris Gayle early. In complete contrast, the left-handed batsman blasted 150 off 206 balls, a knock which included four massive sixes, as West Indies responded with a massive 522. Kieran Powell also made an impressive 134, but it was Gayle’s knock that drained New Zealand’s hopes.
Kemar Roach: 5/60 at Antigua
After letting West Indies post a huge score on the board, New Zealand a made strong reply in the second innings. Guptill and Brendon McCullum batted with great gusto. At one point of time, New Zealand seemed comfortably placed at 194 for 2. However, like in the first innings no one went on to make a century. Guptill fell for 67 and McCullum made 84. Roach came to the fore by sending back McCullum, Taylor, Neil Wagner as well as Kane Williamson. The Kiwis were bowled out for 272 and West Indies cruised to a win.
Marlon Samuels: 123 at Jamaica
After bowling out New Zealand for 260 in the first innings, West Indies found themselves in deep trouble in reply. They collapsed to 5 for 83. However, Marlon Samuels did not give up, and singlehandedly took West Indies closer to the New Zealand total. They were bowled out for 209. The batting effort was disappointing, but Samuels’ effort ensured that West Indies stayed in the hunt.
Narsingh Deonarine: 4/37 at Jamaica
For Windies to come back into the second Test, they needed to bowl exceedingly well in the second innings. Deonarine made sure it happened by claiming the key scalps of Guptill, Watling, McCullum and Williamson. Deonarine’s effort kept New Zealand down to 154, and they managed to chase down a target of 206 thanks to good efforts from Samuels and Chanderpaul.
--By A Cricket Analyst