Taylor Hits Ton But West Indies Win
West Indies 264 (Pollard 56) beat
New Zealand 240 (Taylor 110, Best 4-46) by 24 runs
Fourth One-Day International, St Kitts
West Indies recovered from a dreadful start to win the fourth One-Day International against New Zealand by 24 runs and clinch the series with a match still to play in St Kitts.
Their captain Darren Sammy had chosen to bat in overcast conditions following a slightly delayed start and his openers struggled early on. Johnson Charles, in particular, found the going tricky and had made just one from his first 15 balls, before hitting his 16th to Kane Williamson at mid-off. Chris Gayle followed in the seventh over for 16 to Tim Southee, who also picked up Dwayne Smith five balls later for a duck, to leave the hosts 20 for three and Sammy perhaps regretting his decision.
Dwayne Bravo made 18 before getting himself out to Jacob Oram and it was left to Marlon Samuels and Kieron Pollard to rebuild the innings. A few years ago, you would have got good odds on the two of them making a good fist of it, but times have changed and both have matured and improved as players in the intervening period. They shared a fifth-wicket stand of 46 in almost 10 overs before Samuels played back to a delivery from Nathan McCullum and was given out leg-before.
Pollard, though, continued and found a suitable ally in the form of stand-in wicket-keeper Devon Thomas – who is only playing because regular ‘keeper Denesh Ramdin is getting married – and the pair put on a further 85 in 14 overs for the sixth-wicket. Pollard brought up his 50 from 63 balls – his slowest in ODIs – while Thomas made 37 from 43 balls.
Both fell in the space of a couple of overs of one another, but West Indies made the most of the depth in their batting line-up by plundering 62 from the last seven overs of their innings. Darren Sammy made 26 from 22 balls, but it was Andre Russell who really hit out, striking four boundaries during his 16-ball 29 as the home side were all out in the final over for 264.
New Zealand also endured a top-order wobble when their turn came to bat. They lost Martin Guptill in the first over, before Rob Nicol and Brendon McCullum counter-attacked during a second-wicket stand of 42 from 38 balls, prior to falling in quick succession and being quickly followed by Kane Williamson.
This left them on 75 for four and all of the onus was suddenly on returning captain Ross Taylor. He didn’t disappoint and made 110 from 115 balls, but found little support from the rest of the Black Caps’ middle-order. Other than during a fifth-wicket stand of 71 with Tom Latham (32 from 62 balls), he was left to do the vast majority of the scoring, with Nathan McCullum’s 11 the next best contribution. Ultimately the task proved too arduous and his dismissal in the penultimate over with 28 still needed signalled the end.
Sunil Narine was the key for the West Indies with two for 20 from his 10 overs, while Tino Best continued his remarkable resurgence which began on the tour of England and bowled with extreme pace on the way to figures of four for 46.
The win means that the hosts take an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match series, with the final match scheduled for Monday, again at Warner Park, St Kitts.
© Cricket World 2012
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