New Zealand has met the West Indies at Hamilton twice before, winning by a wide margin each time. The two matches followed a similar pattern with both teams batting solidly in the first innings but the West Indies collapsing in their second innings each time to leave the home side with modest chases for victory.
The teams first met at Seddon Park in December 1999, when visiting captain Brian Lara won the toss and elected to bat first. The Barbadian opening pair of left-hander Adrian Griffith (117) and right-hander Sherwin Campbell (170) batted almost all day, putting on 276 for the first wicket. What followed was a stunning turnaround as, the next day, the last nine wickets fell for just 89 runs, with the next highest score being Lara’s 24. Twenty-year-old left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori took 4-83 in his 27th Test, while opening bowler Chris Cairns took 3-73.
New Zealand batted until the end of the third day before being dismissed for 393 with Cairns making 72, captain Stephen Fleming 66, Craig McMillan 51, Nathan Astle 48, and Matt Horne 32. The best of the visiting bowlers were the medium-fast Reon King (4-81) and leg-spinner Dinanath Ramnarine (3-82).
Batting again 28 runs behind, the West Indies were reduced to 1-3, and after reaching 78-4, were dismissed for 97 on the fifth morning. Cairns had Test-best figures of 7-27, while Vettori bowled 22 overs, taking 1-20. Ricardo Powell made 30 and Jimmy Adams 25, while eight batsmen made five runs or less.
New Zealand needed only 15 overs to achieve the victory target of 70 on the final day, reaching the mark for the loss of just one wicket. Craig Spearman made 30*, while Matt Horne – now batting coach for Northern Districts, Seddon Park’s home Association – retired hurt with a broken finger.
The two teams played each other again at Seddon Park in December 2013, in the third of a three-match series. New Zealand were one-up after a draw in Dunedin and victory in Wellington by an innings and 73 runs.
Sent in by New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum, the visitors made 367 after Shivnarine Chanderpaul (122*) and captain Denesh Ramdin (107) had put on 200 for the sixth wicket after the side had been 86-5. Opener Kraigg Brathwaite made 45 while Tim Southee took 4-79 and Corey Anderson had his best Test return of 3-47.
New Zealand made 393 in reply with Ross Taylor scoring a superb 131, his third century in a row, taking five and a half hours. He received support from Williamson (58) and Corey Anderson (39). Outstanding for the Windies was off-spinner Sunil Narine who took 6-91 in his sixth and, so far, final Test.
The visitors were 13-3 batting a second time, and were eventually dismissed in 32 overs for just 103. Captain Darren Sammy (24 in his 38th and final Test) and Shivnarine Chanderpaul (20) were the only batsmen to reach 20 as Trent Boult took 4-23, Tim Southee 3-12, including his 100th in Tests, and Neil Wagner 2-34.
Needing 124 for victory, New Zealand achieved this just after lunch on the fourth day for the loss of two wickets and requiring 41 overs. Kane Williamson made 56 and Hamish Rutherford was 48*.
Cover photo: Brian Lara sways to avoid a short ball during 1999’s New Zealand v West Indies Test at Seddon Park. From Photosport.