The BLACKCAPS have taken a 2-1 lead in the ANZ One Day International Series against the West Indies after a rain shortened match at Saxton Oval in Nelson.
In the first men’s international match played at the venue, the BLACKCAPS won by 58 runs via Duckworth-Lewis system. Having posted a credible 284 for five in the first innings, the home side had the West Indies at 134 for five after 33.4 overs, before rain intervened and play ended.
A brilliant piece of fielding from Kane Williamson had the West Indies on the back foot from the beginning of their pursuit, with Chadwick Walton run out without scoring in the first over.
Three overs later Johnson Charles was walking back to the pavilion as well without adding to the team’s total. He was caught on the boundary by Tim Southee off the bowling of Mitchell McClenaghan – taking the storming left armer to a total of 43 ODI wickets in just 17 matches.
Williamson and Nathan McCullum did a tidy job of restricting the visitors through the middle stages, with captain Dwayne Bravo (43*) and Lendl Simmons (43) providing the main resistance in difficult circumstances.
There’s no doubt the BLACKCAPS were well and truly in the box seat, but Bravo and his troops will be frustrated they weren’t given the opportunity to work their way back into the match.
The BLACKCAPS opening pair of Jesse Ryder and Martin Guptill were measured as they kicked off proceedings, with the latter particularly watchful during the initial stages.
Their steady approach certainly signaled a change from the fireworks on display in Queenstown, but there was enough purpose to see them reach 50 without loss after 13.1 overs.
Ryder was the more aggressive of the two and survived a couple of dropped chances to reach 47 from 49 deliveries, before feathering one off the bowling of Bravo.
Guptill continued to anchor the innings, while forming partnerships with Williamson (47) and Ross Taylor (49). Just as he and Taylor looked to accelerate with nine overs remaining, he came undone when he was caught on the boundary for 81.
While disappointed not to have seen his side through to the end of the innings, his knock had set the platform for a big finish and Taylor and Corey Anderson obliged nicely.
While getting limited time in the middle, Anderson backed up his world record century with an unbeaten 17, including a huge six off the final ball to send the crowd into a frenzy.
The BLACKCAPS now head to Hamilton for the fifth and final ODI with a 2-1 lead – they’ll be hoping to finish the job in style.