St John’s: West Indies defeated New Zealand by nine wickets on Sunday on the final day of the opening Test, here, to take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.
Victory didn’t seem so certain at the end of the fourth day, but West Indies delivered the knockout punch on the fifth day, thanks to their seamers.
West Indies needed to pick the seven remaining wickets as quickly as possible, and Kemar Roach facilitated that with a five-wicket haul to set the hosts an easy target of 102, which Chris Gayle and Kieran Powell approached without fuss.
Kemar Roach scalped five wickets to end the New Zealand innings at 272.
Meanwhile spinner Sunil Narine continued his good performance taking three wickets for 91 runs after his brilliant five wickets haul in the first innings.
The wickets heaped pressure on New Zealand as the battle for survival got tougher against an incisive Roach and Narine, who looked like striking every over. Neil Wagner impressed with his defence and perseverance for a nightwatchman, but New Zealand expected more from their specialist batsmen in a tense morning session.
With fielders hovering around the batsmen, run-scoring was a challenge. New Zealand managed just two boundaries, one off an outside edge by Wagner which beat second slip, and the other a neat cover drive by Ross Taylor past mid-off. That New Zealand managed just 26 runs off as many overs in the session exemplified the battle of attrition.
Not surprisingly, Narine shouldered the burden, bowling 12 of those overs. The ball spun and shot up off the rough, troubling Wagner in particular who hung on a cliff's edge each time he took guard against the spinner.