Five-star Roach downs Kiwis
Kemar Roach inspired West Indies to a nine-wicket victory over New Zealand in the first Test in Antigua.Roach has been in prolific form this year and enhanced his reputation with figures of five for 60 as the Black Caps collapsed from 217 for three to 272 all out on the final morning.
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That left the Windies with a paltry target of 102 as first-innings centurion Chris Gayle breezed to an unbeaten 50 to seal a comfortable triumph.
A draw looked to be the likely outcome this morning as the Black Caps resumed on 199 for three on a flat pitch.
However, after captain Ross Taylor and Test debutant Neil Wagner had negotiated the opening exchanges, Roach made the breakthrough almost immediately following a short 20-minute rain delay.
Two balls after the players came back onto the field, Taylor was given out after an unsuccessful review when an angled-in delivery rapped him low on the pads in the 11th over of the day.
New batsman Kane Williamson played down the wrong line and was bowled in Roach's next over as New Zealand appeared content to save the Test, with just 26 runs coming from as many overs in the opening session.
To his credit, Wagner was content to simply defend, but his vigil was ended three balls after lunch when he feathered a catch behind off Roach having made 13 from 103 balls.
Dean Brownlie then edged to Chris Gayle at slip off Ravi Rampaul, who also had Daniel Vettori caught behind.
The writing was on the wall in the next over when Doug Bracewell was trapped in front by a quicker, straighter ball from spinner Sunil Narine.
Kruger an Wyk (30) was last man out when he charged down the pitch, only to be cleaned up to hand Roach his five-wicket haul and leave the Windies on the verge of their first Test victory since October last year.
Gayle had a bit of luck at the start of his innings but he settled to his task by pulling Bracewell for four and then repeating the trick with a cut through point two balls later.
Opening partner Powell crunched two boundaries either side of the wicket off Williamson, who saw Gayle thump two sixes over his head as the Windies looked to be cruising towards their target.
New Zealand made the breakthrough when Powell could only hammer a short Bracewell delivery to Brownlie at backward point.
But it proved to be a consolation wicket, with Gayle, competing in his first Test in 18 months, bringing up his half-century off just 42 deliveries by guiding Wagner past mid-off for four.
He finished on 64 not out to cap a memorable return to five-day cricket, while Assad Fudadin (seven not out) struck the winning run in the 20th over.