Taylor, Wagner inspire New Zealand to series sweep over West Indies

Hosts New Zealand beat Caribbean giants by 240 runs in second Test in Hamilton on Tuesday

Ross Taylor scored record-equaling century and Neil Wagner produced another brilliant spell of fast bowling as New Zealand beat West Indies by 240 runs in the second Test to clinch 2-0 series whitewash in Hamilton on Tuesday.

Needing a win to save the series, stand-in captain Kraigg Brathwaite won the toss and opted to bowl first in pacer-friendly conditions.However, his decision backfired as his bowlers could not able to generate the kind of assistance that was expected of them, and the Black Caps managed to post more than respectable 373 in the first innings. Opener Jeet Raval finished with the top score of 84 off 157 with the help of 15 glorious boundaries.

For West indies, pacer Shannon Gabriel was the pick of the bowlers as he claimed four, whereas his fellow pacer Kemar Roach claimed three wickets.

In reply, West Indies batting limitation were once again on display as they could not handle Kiwis’ pacers swing and seam, and were eventually bowled out for 221. Captain Brathwaite was the only one who made some notable contribution with 66 off 116 with the help of nine fours and 1 six.

Leading by 152 runs in first innings, New Zealand produced another impressive effort with the bat and declared second time around with the score of 291 for the loss of eight wickets, courtesy Taylor’s 17th century in the five day format, which also leveled him with great Martin Crowe as New Zealand’s leading century maker in Test cricket. The 33-year-old finished the innings with the top score of unbeaten 107 off 198 with the help of 11 boundaries.

Chasing world-record 444 to level the series was never going to be enough for such an inexperience lineup, and so it proved as the visitors were bowled out for just 203 on the fourth day of the match. Wagner was the star performer for New Zealand, as he claimed three wickets. For his outstanding batting performance in the second innings, Taylor was awarded man of the match.

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