Calypso collapso in the Tron, NZ eye series win
At tea, there were concerns over a Black Caps series win. At stumps, little doubt.
The Black Caps finished day three of the final test in the three-match series in Hamilton yesterday as hot favourites to snare a consecutive test victory over the West Indies and win the series 2-0.
The tourists had high hopes of levelling the series when they gained an 18-run advantage at the end of New Zealand's first innings.
But with Trent Boult again proving too much for the top order, the Windies came up with another Calypso Collapso in the final session at Seddon Park.
The visitors crumbled to be rolled for a meagre 103, with Boult and Tim Southee sharing seven wickets between them, leaving New Zealand just 122 to chase.
They reached six without loss in the two overs they had to face before stumps.
Earlier, Ross Taylor had continued his majestic series with a third ton in as many tests, making 131 from 264 balls.
He later expressed his delight at the way the bowling attack then ripped through the tourists.
"Anything over 180-200 [to chase] could have been very realistic but to keep it down to 122 was outstanding," Taylor said.
"The way that they bowled and the aggression they showed; Boulty got the wickets but Timmy [Southee] also kept the pressure on and the way we caught was outstanding. They need a lot of pats on the back for the hostility they showed."
The hosts truly realised they were well-placed to seek another test win when they removed first innings centurion Shivnarine Chanderpaul for 20, courtesy of a sensational snare by Kane Williamson.
Two balls after the stubborn left-handed batsman edged Neil Wagner agonisingly wide of a diving Peter Fulton at second slip, Chanderpaul again drove and got the edge, only for Williamson to spring low to his right at the first of two gullies to haul in a screamer, sparking wild celebrations.
That catch marked a vast improvement in the fielding in the second innings for the hosts, who spilled a number of chances on the first two days. They snaffled six catches behind the wicket as the Windies again failed to cope with swinging deliveries.
Taylor said the team were hopeful they could apply the pressure to gain the upper hand when the Windies went to bat a second time.
"Any time you've been in the field for 120-odd overs you're under pressure and when you do get on a bit of a roll you need someone to stabilise it," he said.
"We just kept picking up wickets and they weren't able to get anyone to do that. It doesn't always happen but when it does it's very pleasing to be in the cordon."
As they have throughout the series, the Windies batsmen failed to show the necessary application to give their team a chance of success.
Opener Kraigg Brathwaite was skittled attempting an expansive drive at Boult that left a vast gap between bat and pad while even Denesh Ramdin, the other first-innings century-maker for the tourists, was lucky to survive when playing a similar irresponsible shot to the first ball he faced.
Boult took 4-23 from 10 overs, while Southee took three wickets in the last over of the innings to end with 3-12 - his second wicket making him the 12th New Zealand player to capture 100 test wickets. Boult took 20 wickets in the series at an average of 15.40 while Southee grabbed 18 scalps at 18.11 in a dominant effort Taylor described as "obviously great".
"They're good friends and they bowl very well in tandem. Boulty came off 10 wickets and I wouldn't say struggled but it wasn't quite working for him and today was a new day and he bowled outstandingly well.
"They complement each other very well."
The rain that resulted in a drawn first test in Dunedin, when the Black Caps were left to chase a seemingly simple target, should have ensured the hosts won't consider today a fait accompli.
But with two days left and an encouraging weather forecast, New Zealand should end their test year well on top.