West Indies seal first win in New Zealand

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Brendon McCullum pulls to a half-century
Brendon McCullum pulls to a half-century

[www.inewsguyana.com]West Indies’ search for their first win of the New Zealand tour ended at Eden Park in Auckland as the visitors edged past the home side in a low-scoring thriller to take lead in the five-match ODI series.

Mitchell McClenaghan’s maiden five-wicket haul in ODIs led New Zealand’s fightback after they had been bowled out for 156, but Darren Sammy smashed an unbeaten 27-ball 43 to take West Indies over the line.

West Indies needed 61 when Sammy arrived at the crease at the fall of the sixth wicket and used the short boundaries to his advantage. Yet solidity was hard to come by as New Zealand kept chipping away with wickets.

Sammy had added 25 runs with Denesh Ramdin, who scored just 2, when McClenaghan struck for the fifth time to remove Ramdin. Thirty-six runs and three wickets in hand; it was not a question of overs as West Indies were scoring at a quick rate.

Jason Holder, who has been impressive with the bat in his short career, thwarted New Zealand’s hopes in another obdurate stand of 26 runs with Sammy that brought West Indies to within 10 runs of the target.

After his dismissal, Sammy didn’t let New Zealand get any further sniff, finishing the match with a six and a four in McClenaghan’s last over – the 28th of the innings.

New Zealand’s top four could manage only 13 runs among them as Rampaul and Holder bowled with control not seen in the West Indies bowlers during the Test series.

Then Bravo brought himself on and ensured the bottom half of the New Zealand line-up had all their escape routes shut as he picked up four wickets.

Brendon McCullum put up a strong resistance, going past 5000 ODI runs during his 51, but he didn’t receive any support from the other batsmen as West Indies mounted pressure.

The slide had started at the start of the innings. Rampaul dismissed New Zealand’s comeback men Jesse Ryder and Martin Guptill in his first two overs, but the big wicket of Ross Taylor came through a run-out.

There was no looking back from there as Dwayne Bravo picked up four wickets to reduce New Zealand to 112 for 9.

Nathan McCullum delayed the end of innings till the 43rd over with an enterprising 47, adroitly farming the strike in a 44-run last-wicket stand during which Mitchell McClenaghan scored only three.

Nathan McCullum was the last batsman to be dismissed and ensured New Zealand had just enough to put up a fight.

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