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Black Caps cruise to series win over Windies at Basin Reserve

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Wellington, Dec 14 (IANS) New Zealand on Monday completed the formalities of clinching series whitewash against West Indies as they won the second and final Test by an innings and 12 runs, thereby boosting their hopes of reaching the ICC World Test Championship final.

Despite a debut fifty for West Indies’ Joshua da Silva, pacers Tim Southee and Neil Wagner took two wickets each to ensure victory on Day Four of the Test match at the Basin Reserve.

Resuming at 244/6, overnight batters Jason Holder and da Silva could add just eight more runs to the total as Southee bowled a beauty to sneak through Jason Holder’s defence as the Windies captain went for 61, before Alzarri Joseph came to the crease. He blasted three fours and two sixes on his way to a quickfire 24 from 12 ball before he became Southee’s second victim of the day.

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da Silva stuck around to score his maiden Test fifty but his innings was cut short by Wagner who had the West Indies batter out lbw at his individual score of 57.

Chemar Holder hit three boundaries to finish on an unbeaten 13 but Shannon Gabriel was cleaned up by Wagner (3/54) to wrap up another emphatic victory for the hosts as the visitors were bowled out for 317.

Earlier, Henry Nicholls (174) and Wagner (66*) had scored their highest Test scores to help the Black Caps post 460 in their first innings before five-fors for Southee and Kyle Jamieson forced the visitors to follow-on, with Jermaine Blackwood (69) leading the way for the tourists with their only notable performance with the bat.

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Nicholls was declared the Player of the Match while Jamieson was adjudged the Player of the Series.

New Zealand had won the first Test by an innings and 134 runs within four days at the Seddon Park in Hamilton.

Monday’s win has now stretched the Black Caps’ unbeaten streak at home to 15 Tests (including 11 wins), since their most recent loss to South Africa at the Basin in March 2017. Their previous best unbeaten run at home was 13 Tests, achieved twice (1987-92, and 2012-16).

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Brief Scores: New Zealand 460 allout, West Indies 131 and 317 (Jason Holder 61, John Campbell 68; Neil Wagner 3/54).

–IANS

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