Black Caps blue
WIndies rub salt
in New zealand’s wound by winning dead rubber
West Indies found an unlikely batting hero in Andre Russell as they signed off from their one-day series with a 20-run victory over New Zealand, wrapping up a 4-1 series win in the process.
Russell, batting at No.9, smashed an unbeaten 59 from 40 deliveries to help the Windies post 241-9 batting first and then Sunil Narine’s maiden One Day International five-wicket haul ensured the target was defended.
Narine finished with career-best figures of 5-27 as New Zealand, who looked on course for victory when Kane Williamson made 69, crashed from 208-6 to 221 all out.
After winning the Twenty20 and one-day series, West Indies will now attempt a clean sweep against the Black Caps when the two-match Test series gets under way at North Sound.
After clinching the ODI series with victory at Warner Park on Saturday, West Indies suffered an abysmal start at the same venue today as New Zealand seamers Tim Southee and Doug Bracewell combined to reduce them to 20-3.
Johnson Charles hammered Kyle Mills for a straight six but departed tamely once again for 15, popping Southee to Rob Nicol at point, while Chris Gayle (five) suffered his third successive failure, falling in similar fashion.
Dwayne Smith (nine) failed to overturn a leg-before decision on review as Southee’s second wicket left the hosts in trouble. Marlon Samuels was given an early helping hand with four overthrows as Nicol tried for a run-out but it was otherwise slow going for him and, in particular, Dwayne Bravo.
The pair added 60 for the fourth wicket before Samuels gave his wicket away with a loose drive at Southee, though Martin Guptill’s diving catch at short cover was superb and the same fielder accounted for Kieron Pollard (seven) off Williamson.
Bravo struggled to 21 from 64 balls before heaving Nicol for six and then edging a four in the same over, only his second and third boundaries.
He lifted Mills for a one-bounce four to bring up a 50 stand with keeper Devon Thomas, who had contributed 18 from 28 balls but added only two more before Southee took a diving catch in the deep at the second attempt.
Captain Darren Sammy made just two, leaving his side 160-7, but Bravo completed an 89-ball half-century with a single off Southee.
He then chipped Ellis straight to mid-wicket but Russell hit Williamson for six and four and then hammered two Ellis full tosses beyond the ropes.
He brought up a 35-ball fifty with an over remaining and finished on 59 from 40 balls, his second-highest ODI score.
Russell’s late cameo gave Windies’ some impetus to take into the field and the early wicket of Nicol, caught sharply by Bravo at square-leg off Best, gave them the perfect start just two deliveries in.
Guptill and Brendon McCullum added an aggressive 62 runs in just 69 balls for the second wicket but the introduction of Narine literally turned the match back in West Indies’ favour.
The off-spinner removed both in the space of six overs and brought Ross Taylor and Williamson to the middle with New Zealand on 77-3.
Captain Taylor hit three boundaries and put on 31 with Williamson but was unluckily stumped for 28, overbalancing forwards as a quicker ball from Samuels rebounded into the stumps off Thomas’ pads.
Williamson and Tom Latham put on 31 before the latter nicked Bravo to Thomas, meaning the batting powerplay started with the Black Caps 140-6 and needing 102 from 15 overs.
Williamson pulled Best for his fourth boundary to bring up a 69-ball half-century and had good support from Ellis, but the required run-rate was still climbing and they needed somebody to emulate Russell’s fireworks.
Thirteen came from the 42nd over and the 50 stand came up in the next, from 47 balls, before Bravo dropped Ellis.
But Williamson fell victim to a stunning diving catch at short mid-wicket by Gayle, who plunged to his right to snatch a full-blooded pull one-handed.
And that proved the key moment and Ellis (28) and Mills (one) were both bowled by Narine and the Black Caps were dismissed for 221, Trent Boult falling to the last ball of the innings.
Narine won both the Man of the Match and Man of the Series awards. (Sky)