Black Caps can rejoice at overdue triumph

20:17, Jul 01 2014
Denesh Ramdin
West Indies skipper Denesh Ramdin celebrates the dismissal of BJ Watling with Sulieman Benn on the first day of the third test in Barbados.
Kane Williamson
New Zealand batsman Kane Williamson drives the ball on the opening day of the third test against the West Indies in Barbados.
Tom Latham
Black Caps opener Tom Latham is dismissed LBW by Kemar Roach on the first day of the third test.
Jimmy Neesham
Jimmy Neesham hits out during his innings of 78 off 91 balls that helped the Black Caps through to 293.
Jimmy Neesham
Shane Shillingford stops a return shot as he almost collides with non-striker Jimmy Neesham.
Ross Taylor
Ross Taylor gets runs off Jerome Taylor during his innings of 45.
Hamish Rutherford
Hamish Rutherford stretches and studies the pitch before the first ball on day one.
Trent Boult
Trent Boult is stumped by West Indies wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin during NZ's collapse.
Mark Craig
Mark Craig celebrates dismissing West Indies opener Chris Gayle on day two.
Kensington Oval
A panoramic view of Kensington Oval after rain cut short play on day two.
Kraigg Brathwaite and BJ Watling
Kraigg Brathwaite turns to see NZ wicketkeeper BJ Watling has prevented him from scoring.
Kraigg Brathwaite and BJ Watling
Kraigg Brathwaite plays an off-drive in front of BJ Watling's waiting gloves.
Kemar Roach
West Indies bowler Kemar Roach celebrates his 100th test wicket after dismissing BJ Watling on day four of the third test in Barbados.
Kane Williamson
New Zealand batsman Kane Williamson celebrates on day four after scoring his seventh test century.
Jimmy Neesham
New Zealand's Jimmy Neesham drives the ball on day four of the third test against the West Indies at Kensington Oval.
Brendon McCullum
Black Caps skipper Brendon McCullum sweeps the ball on day four of the third test against the West Indies.
Kane Williamson
New Zealand batsman Kane Williamson pulls the ball on his way to 58 not out on the third day of the third test against the West Indies in Barbados.
Hamish Rutherford
New Zealand opener Hamish Rutherford is caught by West Indies keeper Denesh Ramdin off the bowling of Kemar Roach on day three of the third test.
Neil Wagner
Black Caps bowler Neil Wagner celebrates the dismissal of West Indies batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul on the third day of the third test at Kensington Oval in Barbados.
Denesh Ramdin
The New Zealand cricketers celebrate the wicket of Denesh Ramdin with Tim Southee on the final day of the third test against the West Indies in Barbados.
Tim Southee
New Zealand quick Tim Southee reacts after taking the wicket of Denesh Ramdin on the final day of the third test against the West Indies in Barbados.
BJ Watling
New Zealand keeper BJ Watling stumps star West Indian batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul on the final day of the third test at Kensington Oval.
Trent Boult
New Zealand fast bowler Trent Boult celebrates after claiming the wicket of West Indies batsman Kirk Edwards.

Only the bold and the brave survive.

Having gambled an on overnight declaration, New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum hailed his team's fighting spirit as they belted out their team song in the Barbados dusk.

Black Caps and management formed a huddle on the Kensington Oval pitch and ripped into Black and White, a song they've now sung after five of their last eight tests. This was the most significant, a clincher in the Caribbean and their first overseas series victory against a top-eight side in 12 years, since they first cracked it in the West Indies in 2002.

Neil Wagner
OUTTA HERE: New Zealand bowler Neil Wagner celebrates the dismissal of West Indies batsman Sulieman Benn.

"The most pleasing aspect is that we weathered that storm, we were behind for a long time and we kept clawing our way back and showing those fighting qualities that we want to be known for," McCullum said after their 53-run victory in the third and deciding test.

"To develop a lead and make a bold declaration to chase something pretty elusive, a series win away, is really satisfying from a captain's point of view - to see guys standing up in tough circumstances and giving us a real shot. I'm so proud of these guys, I can't talk highly enough of their attitude."

After New Zealand dominated the first test at Kingston, the tide turned and West Indies won the next seven days of the series. It swung back via a lion-hearted Neil Wagner spell, which restricted the hosts' lead to 24, a career-best 161 not out by Kane Williamson and a rapid Jimmy Neesham cameo, then a ruthless final day bowling effort led by the old firm of Tim Southee and Trent Boult.

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It was indeed a bold declaration. West Indies required 308 off 98 overs on a fast outfield with the dangerous Chris Gayle limbering up. The pitch was variable but not crumbling. Rain threatened, and twice forced the players from the field. But after the floodlights came on, the sun emerged and New Zealand skittled their hosts for 254 with 13 overs left when Boult ripped in a brutal yorker to Jerome Taylor.

"People challenged, are we just a team that can play well at home, are we good enough to play away from home, how good is this team? We're showing how good we can be, but we're nowhere near the finished product," McCullum said.

There were a few individuals to be singled out.

Williamson was player of the series after scoring 413 runs at 82.6, including centuries in New Zealand's two wins.

A month short of his 24th birthday, Williamson's average ticked into the 40s, and his seven centuries matches Martin Crowe at the same age.

"He's the most selfless man. He's all about what the team needs. His innings was sublime in trying circumstances," McCullum said.

Opener Tom Latham, all-rounder Neesham and debut spinner Mark Craig were all big movers, while McCullum glowed about Southee and Boult who snared six second innings wickets between them.

"I wouldn't change them for anyone in the world.

"Those two guys have done it for us the last 18-24 months; they're world-class and they bowled brilliantly together."

The Dominion Post