The three-match Test series between New Zealand and West Indies saw some fantastic performances even as the Kiwis usurped the hosts and clinched the series 2-1 at Barbados. Here’s a look at the top success stories during the series.
Kane Williamson: The New Zealand youngster was the best batsman in the series by some distance, and was, not surprisingly, chosen as the man of the series. After three Tests, Williamson finished with 413 runs with two hundreds and one fifty at an excellent average of 82.6. Williamson kicked off the series with 113 at Jamaica. He made 42 and 52 in the loss at Port of Spain. At Barbados, Williamson made the big difference with his 161 in the second innings to go with his 43 in the first.
Tom Latham: The new Kiwi opener made further inroads as an opener during the course of the series. He was the second leading run-scorer with 288 runs at an average of 48 with three half-centuries. Latham began the series with 83 and 73 at Kingston. At Port of Spain, he contributed 82 and 36. He registered twin failures at Bridgetown with scores of 14 and 0.
Jimmy Neesham: The New Zealand all-rounder continued with his impressive run in Test cricket. He began the series by registering a 107 at Jamaica. He did not contribute much in the second Test. The fact that the Kiwis lost proves how crucial he has become to the team’s cause. He stood up for the team in the do-or-die Barbados Test with 78 and 51 and also claimed two wickets. Overall, Neesham finished with 278 runs at an average of 46.3 with one hundred and two fifties.
Kemar Roach: The West Indian fast bowler was the best pacer on show in the series. Over the course of the three Tests, he finished with 15 wickets at an average of 23.2 with a best of 4 for 55. Roach picked up 2 for 12 at Jamaica. In the second Test at Trinidad, he had figures of 1 for 61 and 4 for 74. Roach excelled in West Indies’ defeat at Barbados with figures of 4 for 61 and 4 for 55.
Sulieman Benn: The left-arm spinner was the second most successful bowler in the series with 14 wickets at an average of 37.6 with one five-wicket haul. Benn had figures of 3 for 142 and 1 for 47 at Jamaica. In the Trinidad Test, he claimed 3 for 73 and 2 for 78. He starred in the first innings of the final Test with 5 for 93, but went wicketless in the second. Benn also chipped in with cameos with the bat lower down.
Mark Craig: The New Zealand spinner finished the series with 12 wickets averaging 40.8. He picked up 4 for 91 and 4 for 97 in his debut at Jamaica. He went wicketless at Trinidad but contributed 67 with the bat. At Barbados, he had figures of 1 for 90 and 3 for 84. He made an unbeaten 46 with the bat in the first innings.
--By A Cricket Analyst