Black Caps closing in on victory

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iol spt june30 Cricket balls Getty Images New Zealand claimed four more wickets in the afternoon session and were closing in on a series-clinching victory with the West Indies in deep trouble at 161 for seven after being set a victory target of 308 at tea on the last day of the third and final Test. Photo by Michael Dodge

New Zealand claimed four more wickets in the afternoon session and were closing in on a series-clinching victory with the West Indies in deep trouble at 161 for seven after being set a victory target of 308 at tea on the last day of the third and final Test at Kensington in Barbados on Monday.

Any hopes the West Indies still harboured of an improbable victory disappeared with the demise of Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Darren Bravo, the two key middle-order batsmen who resumed after the lunch interval with the responsibility resting on their shoulders of leading the home side out of the trouble they had found themselves in the morning session.

Chanderpaul escaped when he offered a sharp chance to Tom Latham at short-leg off Mark Craig. But the off-spinner and all his teammates were jubilant in his next over when he drew the experienced left-hander out of his ground and B.J. Watling effected the stumping.

It was the first time in his 20-year Test career, comprising 156 matches and 266 innings, that Chanderpaul has been stumped. It was also the first stumping completed by Watling as a Test wicketkeeper.

Bravo got to 40 but departed in exactly the same manner of his first innings dismissal, slicing a drive to Kane Williamson at gully. In the first innings, the successful bowler was Neil Wanger. This time though Tim Southee was the celebrating bowler. He had also removed West Indies captain Denesh Ramdin, who got to 29 before edging a catch to Ross Taylor at first slip.

With the tea interval looming, Kemar Roach, on his 26th birthday and the day after he claimed his 100th Test wicket, was left with little to celebrate as he offered a straightforward catch to Latham at short-leg off Craig.

That left Test debutant Jason Holder to carry the fight for the West Indies in partnership with Shane Shillingford after tea.

Brendon McCullum's declaration just before the start of the day's play laid down the challenge to his bowlers to deliver victory and they responded almost immediately.

Left-arm swing bowler Trent Boult struck the first two blows. Kraigg Braithwaite misjudged the line of an inswinging delivery and had his off-stump knocked back, while new batsman Kirk Edwards lived a charmed life before edging into the safe hands of Taylor at first slip.

Chris Gayle, who has been troubled by a back injury and struggled to find his best form in the series, was next to go, bowled for 11 off the inside-edge as he aimed a big drive at Southee to reduce the West Indies to 31 for three.- AFP


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