West Indies 157-8 (Sammy 43no) beat
New Zealand 156 (Bravo 4-44) by 2 wickets
First One-Day International, Auckland
The West Indies beat New Zealand by two wickets in the first One-Day International in Auckland to go one-up in the five-match series.
In a low-scoring thriller at Eden Park all-rounder Darren Sammy (43 not out) led the West Indies home after New Zealand had been skittled out for just 156 – Brendon McCullum top scoring for the Black Caps with 51 with Dwayne Bravo taking four for 44 for the tourists.
Mitchell McLenaghan (5-58) took his maiden five-wicket haul in ODI’s but was unable to stop the hard-hitting Sammy – his man-of-the-match innings coming from just 27 balls and containing five fours and three sixes.
New Zealand got off to the worst possible start with the top-four all failing to reach double figures – Ravi Rampaul (2-27) and Jason Holder (2-21 and a run out) the principal architects of their downfall. It was a disappointing comeback for Black Caps opener Jesse Ryder (0) in his first match for two years while Martin Guptill (2), Kane Williamson (8) and Ross Taylor (3) also fell cheaply.
With the score at 32 for four in the 12th over New Zealand skipper Brendan McCullum set about rebuilding the home side’s innings with five fours and a six in his fine 51 before he was trapped LBW by Bravo. The latter also removed Corey Anderson (13), James Neesham (10) and Kyle Mills (3) to finish with impressive figures of four for 44 from his ten overs.
It was therefore left to all-rounder Nathan McCullum (47) to try and salvage the New Zealand innings – his defiant knock including two fours and three sixes – helping to set a target of 157. Off-spinner Sunil Narine (1-28) and Sammy (0-30) backed up Rampaul, Holder and Bravo in an excellent bowling performance from the West Indies.
The West Indies’ run chase started badly with McLenaghan striking early to remove Kieran Powell (4), Johnson Charles (9) and Darren Bravo (14) with the score at 32 for three in the eighth over. Lendl Simmonds (34) led the fightback before McLenaghan picked up his fourth wicket when captain Dwayne Bravo was dismissed LBW for 12. McLenaghan completed his first five-wicket haul in ODI’s when Denesh Ramdin (2) was caught by Brendon McCullum with the score at 121 for seven in the 24th over.
With a further 36 runs still needed the momentum had swung in favour of the hosts but they would not have accounted for Sammy’s brutal forty minute cameo which contained eight boundaries – the last of which coming off McLeneghan in the 28th over to seal a hard-fought victory for the West Indies.
Mills took two for 37 for New Zealand with Neesham (1-35) and Anderson (0-19). The Black Caps conceded 14 wides and ultimately this proved costly for the hosts in such a low-scoring match.
New Zealand will be looking to bounce back when the two sides meet in Napier on Sunday.
© Cricket World 2013