Windies win second test, but NZ still fighting
Sticking to the game plan and having an ounce of luck on their side will see the Black Caps close out the test series against the West Indies in Barbados, captain Brendon McCullum says.
The Kiwis battled to keep their heads above water in the final day of the second test today (NZT), but ultimately had too small a total to try and defend against a Chris Gayle in a punishing mood.
The West Indies won the match by 10 wickets after they were set a target of 93 runs in the afternoon of the final day with Gayle blasting one of the fastest half-centuries in test cricket history to make the runs.
He smashed seven fours and six sixes to finish unbeaten on 80 off only 46 balls as the Windies levelled the three-match series at 1-1.
BJ Watling (66 not out) and Mark Craig (67) had offered some late resistance in New Zealand's second innings to bring the total to 331 but a score in the 90s was never going to be enough.
McCullum said the West Indies deserved their win, but the Black Caps had not done themselves any favours.
''To bounce back after the first test result and play the way they have and put us through as much pressure as they did throughout the game, they deserved their win.''
But if it had not been for a session on the first day where the team lost seven wickets for a paltry 60 runs the match could have been much closer.
''I thought right throughout the test, barring that one session . . . we were pretty good. I thought the application and the intensity with which our seamers bowled was outstanding and something we can be really proud of. On another day they could have easily knocked the top off the West Indies batting order.''
McCullum said Watling's fight back was superb and he was fast becoming an integral part of the team.
''BJ's fast becoming my favourite cricketer actually - his strength of character and fighting qualities. The guy never complains he gets on with the job, he goes out there and keeps for a hundred and something overs and then bats for seven hours trying to save a test match for his country.''
McCullum said the team needed to get back to the tried and true for the final test.
''We have been going pretty well in test cricket in the last 12 to 18 months and our formula has become pretty familiar to us. We have just got to make sure we are still trying to do the right things and still trying to execute our game plan.
''If we do that and we have a little bit of luck go our way as well in Barbados I'm confident we can certainly turn this performance around and finish strong.''
The final test starts on Friday (NZT).