Narine, Best, give WI ODI series victory
Defiant West Indies withstood a brilliant Ross Taylor hundred to beat New Zealand by 24 runs in the fourth One-Day International and clinch a series win over a top eight ICC side for the first time in four years yesterday.
Defending 264 at Warner Park, West Indies held their nerves in the crucial last ten overs to restrict the Black Caps and bowl them out for 240 with three balls left in the innings, and take a winning 3-1 lead in the five-match series.
Skipper Taylor, in for his first match of the ODI series following injury, batted superbly for 110 from 115 balls to steer the innings but was ninth out in the penultimate over with the Kiwis needing quick runs.
He was one of four wickets for fast bowler Tino Best (four for 46) but it was mystery off-spinner Sunil Narine who strangled the Kiwi batsmen in an excellent spell of two for 20 from his ten overs and earned the Man-of-the-Match honour.
Kieron Pollard's fifth One-Day International half-century had ealier helped West Indies rally to a competitive 264 all out, after they were staring down the barrel at 59 for four in the 18th over.
The aggressive right-hander top-scored with 56 as West Indies were bowled out off the penultimate ball of the innings.
Opting to bat first, the Windies were ripped apart by an incisive spell from seamer Tim Southee (three for 53) before pacer Jacob Oram got among the middle order with three for 42.
There were good supporting knocks from Marlon Samuels who stroked 46, wicketkeeper Devon Thomas who got 37 and Andre Russell who slammed 29.
Captain Darren Sammy chipped in with 26.
Big pacer Doug Bracewell accounted for opener Johnson Charles for one in the fifth over before Southee knocked over Chris Gayle (16) and Dwayne Smith (0) to leave the Windies three down for 20 in the seventh over.
Dwayne Bravo then holed out in deep for 18 after adding 39 for the fourth wicket with Pollard.
However, Pollard curbed his natural attacking instinct to anchor two precious partnerships, posting 46 for the fifth wicket with Samuels and a further 85 for the sixth wicket with Thomas.
Pollard hit five fours and a six off 70 balls before he was seventh out at 202 for seven in the 43rd over, caught at backward point off Oram.
Samuels, meanwhile, looked in great touch with six fours and a six off 64 balls but played across one from off-spinner Nathan McCullum and was lbw in the 27th over at 105 for five.
Thomas, in for his first match of the series, faced 43 balls and counted three fours and a six before falling softly when he drove a low full toss from off-spinner Rob Nicol to short cover to be sixth out.
It was left to Sammy and Russell to play small cameos and get the Windies past 250.
Chasing a series-clinching lead, West Indies claimed the out-of-sorts Martin Guptill with the sixth delivery of the innings when he was trapped lbw to Best without scoring with six runs on the board.
Opener Nicol, who hit 35 and Brendon McCullum, 10, put on a fluent 42 off 38 balls for the second wicket to put the Kiwis ahead.
The right-handed Nicol hammered three fours and two sixes off 32 balls to dominate the stand but was one of three wickets to fall in quick succession, as New Zealand stumbled.
McCullum, in his first match of the series, pulled fast bowler Andre Russell to Sammy at short mid-wicket in the eighth over before Nicol picked out Bravo at deep mid-wicket off Sammy three overs later.
When Narine trapped Kane Williamson lbw for three in the 14th over, New Zealand were struggling at 75 for four but Taylor and Tom Latham stitched up the innings with a 71-run, fifth wicket partnership.
Taylor started quietly before exploding to six fours and five sixes while Latham spent 62 balls at the crease and hit a single boundary.
Latham edged off-spinner Samuels behind and Nathan McCullum (11) guided Best to Sammy at point as the Kiwis slumped again to 170 for six in the 39th over.
Taylor then took matters into his own hands from the next over, twice clearing long-on with Samuels in an over that cost 16. He tore into Russell with two more sixes and a four in the 43rd over as the right-armer's sixth over cost 21 runs and left the game open.
However, Narine kept the brakes on the scoring while Best, whose last seven overs cost just 23 runs, prised out the dangerous Oram for six to put the Windies nearer to a positive result.
When Taylor skied a Best full toss to Sammy at cover, the Windies knew the series was theirs.
West Indies v New Zealand 4th ODI WEST INDIES INNS J Charles c Williamson b Bracewell 1 C Gayle lbw b Southee 16 D Smith c Taylor b Southee 0 M Samuels lbw b N McCullum 46 D Bravo c Boult b Oram 18 K Pollard c B McCullum b Oram 56 D Thomas c Taylor b Nicol 37 D Sammy c Guptill b Boult 26 A Russell c Guptill b Oram 29 S Narine not out 6 T Best b Southee 3 EXTRAS: (LB5, W20, NB1) 26 TOTAL (all out; 49.5 overs) 264 Fall of wickets: 1-17 (Charles, 4.5 overs), 2-19 (Gayle, 6.1), 3-20 (Smith, 7), 4-59 (Bravo, 17.1), 5-105 (Samuels, 27), 6-190 (Thomas, 40.4), 7-202 (Pollard, 42.5), 8-234 (Sammy, 46.4), 9-258 (Russell, 48.4), 10-264 (Best, 49.5) BOWLING: Bracewell 10-2-58-1 (w1), Boult 10-2-47-1 (w5), Southee 9.5-1-53-3 (w1, nb1, 1w), Oram 10-1-42-3 (w3), McCullum 4-0-34-1 (w5), Nicol 6-1-25-1 (w1). NEW ZEALAND INNS R Nicol c Bravo b Sammy 35 M Guptill lbw Best 0 B McCullum c Sammy b Russell 10 R Taylor c Sammy b Best 110 K Williamson lbw Narine 3 T Latham c wkpr Thomas b Samuels 32 N McCullum c Sammy b Best 11 J Oram b Best 6 D Bracewell c Pollard b Narine 5 T Southee run out 3 T Boult not out 1 EXTRAS: (B5, LB10, W8, NB1) 24 TOTAL: (all out; 49.3 overs) 240 Fall of wickets: 1-8 (Guptill, 1 over), 2-50 (B McCullum, 7.2), 3-63 (Nicol, 10.3), 4-75 (Williamson, 13.4), 5-146 (Latham, 33.4), 6-170 (N McCullum, 38.5), 7-219 (Oram, 44.5), 8-234 (Bracewell, 47.1), 9-237 (Taylor, 48.2), 10-240 (Southee, 49.3) BOWLING: Best 10-1-46-4 (w4), Russell 6-0-49-1 (w1), Sammy 10-1-41-1 (nb1), Narine 10-1-20-2 (w1), Samuels 10-0-50-1, Bravo3.3-0-19-0 (w1) Result: West Indies won by 24 runs. Series: West Indies lead five-match series 3-1. Man-of-the-Match: Sunil Narine. Toss: West Indies. Umpires: Ray Illingworth, Peter Nero; TV – Ray Kettleborough