A dogged innings from Scott Styris pushed the BLACKCAPS to 233 all out in the fifth One-Day International if the National Bank Series at Eden Park.
The State Auckland Aces all-rounder hit 90 from 119 balls as the home side overcame a faltering start to progress.
Ross Taylor made an exciting 31 from 29 deliveries at number four, but could not push on after a promising start while captain Stephen Fleming made only one run more from his 49 balls faced after an excellent start.
Dwayne Smith ultimately ended Styris’ innings as one of five wickets, for 45 runs, on a good day for the Barbados medium-pacer.
The BLACKCAPS selectors again went with an extended batting line up, with First-Class double-centurion James Franklin’s introduction no reduction in quality.
But in sharp contrast to the strong top-order performance in Napier, the full length of the order was needed as the opening batsmen were sent back indoors in rapid succession.
Lou Vincent had wanted to build on his century in Napier but could score only a solitary run before he played and missed at a second-over in-swinger from left-armer Ian Bradshaw.
Nathan Astle could not repeat his heroics from earlier in the series and fell for four, caught Denesh Ramdin bowled Fidel Edwards with the score on eight.
Taylor’s introduction brought much-needed momentum and the tyro produced seven boundaries in the sort of innings he has produced all season.
However, he could not find the maiden landmark of his nascent international career, forcing an inside edge on to his stumps off Bradshaw in the 12th.
Fleming soldiered on into the thirties but fell in the 23rd over, caught behind off Dwayne Smith.
Styris, whose highest innings of the series to date had been 36 in Wellington, survived a scare in the 29th, when Gayle dropped a simple chance off his own bowling.
However, he was more certain in claiming Peter Fulton, who made 19 as part of a 50-run partnership with Styris before nudging the ball straight to mid-wicket off Smith.
Hamish Marshall matched Fulton’s score before being bowled by Smith, with Brendon McCullum also falling victim to the right-armer having made 10.
Franklin failed to stay until the end, Jerome Taylor taking a one-armed catch of swerving drive for seven off Smith.
The batters crossed, and the very next ball Styris hit a lofted shot similar to that dropped by Gayle. But Smith, scenting his fifth victim, comfortably took the catch.
Shane Bond was dismissed for five, by an Edwards yorker he would have been proud of himself.
The BLACKCAPS bowlers now have to dismiss the tourists or contain them to a 4.71-per-over rate to defend to sweep The National Bank Series.