Most Memorable Moments from West Indies Tour of New Zealand
While the Ashes has dominated the cricket world's attention in the southern hemisphere this summer, there was another tour going on across the ditch in New Zealand. The West Indies were Down Under and while they were missing some of their top stars, it was a visit that produced some memorable moments that the tour will be remembered for.
This article looks at some of these, as we relive the best of the past two months out of New Zealand.
All statistics sourced from ESPNCricinfo.com.
Brendon McCullum's Hometown Blitz
After facing form and injury problems heading into the first Test of the summer, Brendon McCullum responded by hitting a rapid-fire century on his home ground in Dunedin. Having made a good start, New Zealand were in a strong position, only made stronger after McCullum put on near to 100 runs in the third session himself.
It was a great start to the summer for the New Zealand captain, proving that he indeed still has what it takes to perform at this level.
Dwayne Bravo's Arrival
It had not been a happy tour for the West Indies during the Test series. They had been outplayed in all three games, losing two and only being saved by rain in the other. The limited overs games saw them salvage two wins in the six matches played, but the biggest bright spot came in the form of Dwayne Bravo upon his arrival to the country.
With the bat he offered resistance, accumulating runs well and at times was something of a one-man band. With the ball he generally bowled good lines and lengths. As a captain, he was creative and constantly changing his field to suit the situation.
The biggest thing to take away here was that he would definitely make a big difference to the Test team if he were available.
Darren Bravo's Match-Saving Double Century
After being bowled out cheaply in the first innings, it was a dire-looking situation for the West Indies. It was this that made Darren Bravo's 218 so special. Not only was it a great knock against the run of play, but it saved the game for the West Indies, batting long enough to ensure New Zealand would be stranded 33 runs short of victory as rain came early on Day 5.
Darren Sammy chipped in with 80, while Denesh Ramdin and Kirk Edwards both notched up half-centuries. But Bravo was the star of the show. Incidentally he became just the seventh batsman in cricket history to achieve a double-century in a follow-on innings.
Trent Boult's Killer Spell in Wellington
Trent Boult was the pick of an outstanding New Zealand bowling attack during their 2-0 Test series victory. But it was a tremendous spell on the third day of the second Test in Wellington which saw him at his near-unplayable best. The left-armer moved the ball well and dismissed the West Indies tail cheaply, picking up three wickets in just four balls.
He finished the innings with figures of 6/40, allowing New Zealand to enforce the follow-on, where he claimed a further four wickets for 40 runs to give New Zealand a 1-0 series lead. It was his best bowling to date and the biggest indicator that he is one of the most promising stars in world cricket.
Ross Taylor's Three Centuries
It is not often a player gets centuries in three consecutive Tests, but Ross Taylor managed it in this series. He has matured a lot over the past few years, keeping the ball on the ground and no longer trying to impatiently hit sixes (as used to be the major flaw in his game). His new first-class high score of 217 not out in the first Test was undoubtedly his series highlight, as he plundered runs through all parts of the ground and complemented Brendon McCullum's rapid-fire century well.
He backed this up with centuries in each of the next two Tests too, making him the player of the series and catapulting him to No. 3 on the ICC's Test Batting Rankings.
Michael Morton Wins $100,000
One of the most memorable things from this summer will undoubtedly be Tui's "Catch A Million" promotion, which saw them put up $100,000 for each of the Black Caps limited overs matches for the first person in the crowd to take a one-handed catch.
Only one catch has been taken thus far, but it sure was exciting. Michael Morton was the lucky winner, lining up the catch superbly and leaving the ground $100,000 richer.
Trent Boult's Stunning Catch
It is not often you will see a better catch than this. Trent Boult was at his best in Wellington, not only claiming 10 wickets, but also proving outstanding in the field. Words cannot do it justice, so take a look at the video for yourself.
Corey Anderson's World Record Innings
Of all the memorable moments from this tour, Corey Anderson's world record for the fastest ODI century has to rate as the best. It was just one of those days for Anderson, where he struck the ball perfectly and everything he hit went for runs.
It took him just 36 balls to notch up 100 runs, breaking Shahid Afridi's record by one ball. Anderson went on to score 131 not out in one of the most memorable innings you will ever see. If you have not yet seen it, be sure to check out the highlight video here.
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