ANTIGUA — The pace of Kemar Roach and the confidence of Chris Gayle led West Indies to a nine-wicket victory in the first of their two Test series against struggling New Zealand on Sunday in Antigua.
Roach took 5-60 with a fine spell of pace bowling which ripped the heart out of New Zealand’s middle order and then Gayle, who struck 150 in the first innings, eased the Caribbean side to their target of 102 with a solid, unbeaten 64.
It was just the third win for West Indies in 34 Tests since their victory over England in Jamaica in February, 2009.
New Zealand’s hopes of batting out the day, or at least setting the hosts a challenging target came undone with West Indies seamers Roach and Ravi Rampaul doing the damage.
Resuming on 199 for three, after losing Brendon McCullum for 84 late on Saturday, the Kiwis lost two crucial wickets for just 27 runs before lunch.
After a short rain break, paceman Roach trapped Ross Taylor (21) lbw and then clean bowled Kane Williamson with a superb delivery that straightened and removed the right-hander’s off stump.
The impressive Roach struck again shortly after lunch, with the third delivery with the new ball, luring Neil Wagner into an edge to keeper Denesh Ramdin.
Rampaul then removed Dean Brownlie and Daniel Vettori, spinner Sunil Narine claimed his eighth wicket of the match by getting Doug Bracewell lbw.
Kruger van Wyk had provided the only real resistance, but stuck with number eleven Chris Martin he had to go for his shots and was undone by a lovely slower bowl from Roach.
The total of 272 all out left West Indies with a comfortable target of just 102 to win and plenty of time to get it.
Their first test win since beating Bangladesh in Dhaka in October 2011, ending a nine test winless streak, was never in doubt as Gayle took charge with Kieran Powell who made 30 before he was caught by Brownlie off Bracewell.