MATCH-WINNER: West Indies all-rounder Darren Sammy celebrates hitting the winning runs in the regional side to a two-wicket win over New Zealand in the first One Day International at Eden Park, New Zealand yesterday. Sammy scored an unbeaten 43 off 27 balls to lead the victory charge. —Photo: CHRIS SYMES


First Blood

Skipper Bravo, Sammy lead stumbling WI past New Zealand

Darren Sammy scored an unbeaten 43 in 27 balls to lead West Indies to a two-wicket win over New Zealand in the first One Day International (ODI) here yesterday.
Sammy rescued the Windies, who were reeling on 60 for four, but recovered to reach 157 for eight after the home side were restricted to 156 in a low scoring thriller at Eden Park.
The St Lucian all-rounder held together the lower part of the West Indies innings, battering three sixes and five fours to guide his team home after Mitchell McClenaghan had taken five for 58 for New Zealand.
McClenaghan’s swing and pace destroyed the West Indies’ top order, while Ravi Rampaul (two for 27) and Jason Holder (two for 21) reduced New Zealand to 32 for four.
The New Zealand top four could only manage 13 runs among them as Rampaul and Holder bowled with control not seen in the West Indies bowlers during the Test series.
New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum top-scored for his team with 51, while brother Nathan McCullum made 47, helping add 52 for the last two wickets before New Zealand’s innings ended in the 43rd over.
West Indies captain Dwayne Bravo took four for 44, while his brother Darren Bravo held three catches as the tourists dismissed New Zealand in 41.2 overs after winning the toss and bowling.
Lendl Simmons, who scored 34, lifted the tourists from 60 for four to 95 for five and stitched a critical 34-run stand with Narsingh Deonarine.
Sammy arrived at the wicket with West Indies needing 61 for victory and added 25 runs with Denesh Ramdin, who scored just two.
Jason Holder thwarted New Zealand’s hopes in a stand of 26 runs with Sammy that brought West Indies to within ten runs of the target.
Sammy, who was named man-of-the-match, finished the game with a six and a four in McClenaghan’s last over—the 28th of the innings.
The win was West Indies’ first on their New Zealand tour as they attempt to bounce back from a two-nil Test series defeat.

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