Martin Guptill hit a dashing century on debut but his efforts were in vain as the fourth One Day International between New Zealand and the West Indies ended without a result in Auckland.
Guptill smashed 122 not out as New Zealand posted an imposing total of 275 for four but after the West Indies had reached 64 without loss in the 11th over, the match was called off due to rain.
The West Indies won the toss and elected to field first but it was the hosts who got of to the better start with explosive opening batsman Brendon McCullum and debutant Guptill putting on 50 for the first wicket.
Just when it appeared as though the Black Caps were putting themselves in a position to take the game away from the West Indies the visitors got a vital breakthrough, as Lionel Baker has McCullum (26) caught by wicket-keeper Dinesh Ramdin to leave New Zealand 68 for one in the 15th over.
Baker had his second wicket a couple of overs later when Matthew Sincalir (2) was also caught by Ramdin to leave the hosts 74 for two after 17 overs.
New Zealand were lucky not to be three down in the very next over, as Brendan Nash put down a difficult caught and bowled chance, which would have seen the back of Guptill; Nash dived full length to his left and the ball went into his hand only to
go straight back out again and onto the turf.
Ross Taylor and Guptill started to re establish New Zealand's innings, Taylor looked in particularly good form as he hit a series of boundaries all around the wicket and a towering six and the duo both went past 50 and put on a stand of 144, before Taylor (75) was bowled by Fidel Edwards to leave his team 218 for three after 44 overs.
Daniel Flynn followed Taylor back to the pavilion just a couple of balls later for nought when he was caught by Baker off the bowling of Powell.
Despite the loss of the two quick wickets, Guptill continued to bat with freedom and confidence and he reached his century with a towering six off Chris Gayle in the 47th over. Fellow debutant Neil Broom then smashed Miller for a six over long off,
and Gayle for one over long off, and Guptill gave New Zealand the perfect end to their innings by hitting Edwards for a six back over his head in the last over.
Guptill's 122 not out is the second highest debut score in ODI cricket and it is the first time a batsman has carried their bat on ODI debut.
Rain then reduced the West Indies' target to 235 in 40 overs and captain Gayle looked set to emulate Guptill with a display of clean hitting as he raced to 46 not out from 37 balls, smashing four fours and three sixes.
Sewnarine Chattergoon was unbeaten on 17 from 26 balls at the other end when the umpires were forced to call off the match, meaning the final match in Napier on January 13th becomes the decider with the series still level at 1-1.
© Cricket World 2008