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New Zealand canters to eight-wicket win

Williamson hits 56 and Rutherford 48 not out as hosts overhaul 122-run target to seal 2-0 series win

New Zealand canters to eight-wicket win - Cricket News
Kane Williamson hit 56 off 83 balls.
New Zealand cruised to an eight-wicket win over the West Indies on Sunday (December 22) to claim its first victory in a three-Test series in nearly eight years. With just 122 needed to seal the series 2-0, New Zealand reached its target for the loss of just two wickets after the visitors collapsed in the face of a hostile spell of New Zealand swing bowling on Saturday. 

Hamish Rutherford, who sealed the victory with a boundary, finished on an unbeaten 48, with Ross Taylor on two. Peter Fulton was first to fall, caught and bowled by Darren Sammy for 10, and Kane Williamson was dismissed for 56, bowled by Veerasammy Permaul. 

New Zealand won the series after the first Test in Dunedin was drawn and it won the second by an innings and 73 runs in Wellington. It was the first time that the team has achieved back-to-back Test victories against a top-eight side since March 2006, which was also against West Indies. 

New Zealand resumed the fourth morning at 6 for no loss and although Sunil Narine bowled unchanged through the first session, he went without reward.

Rutherford, who was stuck facing Narine for nine consecutive overs at one stage, offered a chance on 20 but Permaul did not see the ball early enough and it landed short of his grasp. 

When on 24, he was given out caught behind, but the decision was overturned on appeal with the video replay showing the sound was of the bat hitting the ground. 

It was a remarkable turnaround for the home side after West Indies felt it was in command the previous day with an 18-run first innings lead and New Zealand struggling to handle Narine on a turning wicket. 

However, West Indies suffered from poor shot selection against the swing bowling of Trent Boult and Tim Southee.  

Boult and Southee, along with the batting of Taylor, set the platform for New Zealand's success. Boult (4 for 23) and Southee (3 for 12) destroyed the West Indies' second innings. Over the three Tests, Boult took 20 wickets at 15.40 and Southee claimed 18 scalps at 18.11.

The two teams will now play five One-Day Internationals and two Twenty20 Internationals before India arrive in New Zealand next month for a two-Test series.

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