New Zealand won the third Test against the West Indies in Barbados by 53 runs to clinch a 2-1 series victory.

After declaring overnight on 331 for seven to set the hosts a target of 308, a Black Caps victory was always the likely outcome after the West Indies lost their top three batsmen within the first 10 overs, Tim Southee (three for 28) and Trent Boult (three for 48) using a lively pitch to great effect.

Darren Bravo offered some resistance, but the writing was on the wall when he was dismissed for 40 to leave his side 129 for six.

Shane Shillingford (30 not out) and Jason Holder brought the Windies back into the match with further defiance after tea, but their hopes were extinguished when Holder was dismissed for 52 and the hosts lost their last three wickets for 33 runs to be all out for 254.

With play starting half an hour earlier than normal to make up time lost to rain over the last four days, New Zealand wasted little time in taking the fight to the West Indies.

Kraigg Braithwaite push-drove Boult's second ball of the day to the fence, but was on his way for six after missing the New Zealander's third which crashed into off stump to leave the hosts seven for one.

West Indies' hearts were in their mouths three balls later when Kirk Edwards was given out lbw after padding up, but the batsman correctly reviewed the decision.

The reprieve was short-lived as, after reaching double figures, Edwards' time at the crease was brought to an end by Boult, who tempted the batsman into playing outside off stump and edging a catch to Ross Taylor at first slip.

The Black Caps were doing a fine job of keeping dangerman Chris Gayle quiet and, with no boundaries to his name, the normally aggressive opener inside-edged on to his stumps while going for an expansive drive on 11.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Bravo pushed the score on to 72 without further loss before play was suspended as the rain came.

Play resumed as scheduled after the lunch break and New Zealand made the best possible start to the afternoon session by removing Chanderpaul for 25 when Mark Craig drew him down the track with a flighted delivery and BJ Watling duly removed the bails.

Denesh Ramdin brought up the West Indies hundred with a two through midwicket, but, after a 20-minute interruption for rain, the hosts were five down when the batsman (29) edged Southee to first slip where Taylor took his second catch of the innings.

Twelve balls later and West Indies were in dire straits when Bravo's resilient innings was brought to an end when he clipped to gully to give Southee his third victim.

New Zealand moved to within three wickets of victory when, with the Windies on 144, Roach was caught out by a turning Craig delivery.

The home side batted out the next four overs to tea without further alarm.

Holder and Shillingford then frustrated the New Zealand bowlers after the restart and the Kiwis wasted a review when Shillingford was given not out following an lbw appeal.

The Windies pair took the total past 200 in the second over after drinks and Holder was soon raising his bat in acknowledgement of reaching his maiden Test 50 on debut.

But Brendon McCullum's side finally made the breakthrough moments later when Holder was bowled between his legs for a defiant 52 as Craig picked up his third wicket of the day.

Three overs later and the match was almost up for the hosts as Sulieman Benn was caught at short cover for 10 by Southee to give Neil Wagner his first wicket of the innings.

And New Zealand wrapped up victory when, having taken the new ball, Boult pinned Jerome Taylor lbw for 12 to spark celebrations from the touring party.