West Indies narrow victors

The West Indies have won the fifth ODI with a closely fought 20 run win at Warner Park in St Kitts, wrapping up the series 4-1.

The BLACKCAPS will once again be disappointed with their performance with the bat, as they failed to chase down the home side’s total of 241. 

Despite Rob Nicol being dismissed early, Brendon McCullum and Martin Guptill got the visitors off to a good start, putting on 62 for the second wicket.

Sadly though it was the same old story for the BLACKCAPS, with the introduction of Sunil Narine proving too much to handle.

McCullum (33) was the first to go, edging to Darren Sammy in the slips, before Guptill soon followed having been trapped leg before wicket by the wily spinner.

Ross Taylor (28) looked to continue the form that saw him bring up his century in the last match, but was slightly unlucky to be stumped off the bowling of Marlon Samuels. Wicket-keeper Devon Thomas innocuously stood there as the ball fortuitously ricocheted off his pads back onto the stumps, with Taylor unable keep his back foot grounded.

Daniel Flynn and Tom Latham both fell cheaply and the BLACKCAPS were soon reeling at 140 for six.

It would take a massive late push for New Zealand to get across the line, but they found hope in Kane Williamson and Andrew Ellis.

Williamson was quite superb, playing a mature innings of 69 of 84 balls. Ellis, although dropped in a simple catch by Dwayne Bravo on 17, was also impressive with 28 off 35.

The pair put on 68 for the second wicket and put New Zealand in the box seat, needing just 34 off 26 deliveries.

Unfortunately some Gayle magic changed the momentum.

Bowled a rare short delivery from Narine, Williamson looked to pounce, but instead watched in horror as his pull shot was spectacularly taken by the diving Gayle at mid-wicket.

The blinding catch effectively saw the end of the BLACKCAPS chances. Ellis and Kyle Mills were both bowled by Narine soon after and too much work was left for Tim Southee and Trent Boult at the end.

On the last ball of the innings New Zealand were all out for 221, still 21 short of their target.

The West Indies bowling attack was led by Narine who picked up the sensational figures of five for 27 from ten overs.

It was yet another winnable game for the Kiwis having gotten on top early, only to crumble with the bat.

The BLACKCAP bowlers once again had the measure of the opposing top order with Southee and Mills combining to have the home team 37 for three after 8.2 overs.

Gayle, who had earlier tormented the visitors, was the first wicket to fall with the tall left-hander cutting a short ball from Mills to point after making just five runs. 

The other opener, Jonathan Charles, was also caught at point for 15 but this time is was Southee inducing the false shot with the in-form strike bowler also trapping Dwayne Smith LBW for nine.

A useful 60 run partnership followed before Southee struck again, this time it was the wicket of the dangerous Marlon Samuels for 43, but most of the credit goes to Guptill who took a brilliant catch.  Samuels looked to pierce the infield with a firmly struck drive but Guptill launched himself to the left, clutching the ball just above the ground.

Guptill was in the action again ten balls later when he snapped up a much more straight forward catch to hand Williamson the wicket of Kieron Pollard for seven, leaving the West Indies struggling at 104 for five.

Dwayne Bravo and Devon Thomas put on 53 before Ellis broke the partnership.  Thomas, 20, slogged a delivery to deep square leg where Southee fumbled, then re-gathered the ball to complete the dismissal.

Mills then nicked out Darren Sammy for two to reduce the home side to 160 for seven after 38.2 overs.  The wicket also brought a milestone for Mills with the tall seamer moving past Chris Harris on the BLACKCAPS wicket-taking list.  His 204 ODI scalps is second only to Daniel Vettori who has 274.

A low full-toss saw the back of Bravo for 53 with the talented all-rounder scooping the ball to mid-on, gifting his wicket to Ellis.

However, the precarious position of his side did not deter fast-bowler Andre Russell, with the number nine batsman striking six boundaries and launching three balls into the stands on his way to an unbeaten 59 off 40 deliveries.

Sunil Narine was the only other wicket to fall, caught on the boundary by McCullum off the bowling of Mills for six.

Southee was the best of the bowlers with three for 37, while Mills took three for 40 and Ellis chipped in with two for 54.

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