BASSETERRE: Spinner Sunil Narine claimed 5-27 to bowl the West Indies to a tense 20-run victory over New Zealand in the fifth and final one-day nternational at Warner Park on Monday.
Narine’s career-best haul helped the hosts secure a 4-1 victory in the five-match series, following a 2-0 sweep in the Twenty20 internationals. New Zealand, in pursuit of 242, struggled against the variations of Narine. Despite a defiant 69 from Kane Williamson, the Kiwis were bowled out for 221 off 50 overs.
The West Indies’ total of 241-9
off 50 overs had been inspired by contrasting half centuries from all-rounders Dwayne Bravo and Andre Russell. Bravo compiled 53 off
93 balls to revive the innings from 37-3 while Russell upped the tempo with an unbeaten 59 off 40 deliveries. For New Zealand, pacers Tim Southee (3-37) and Kyle Mills (3-40) led the attack.
Captain Darren Sammy was full of praise for Narine, who took 13 wickets at an average of 11.23 and an economy rate of 2.92 in the series and earned the man-of-the-match and man-of-the-series awards. “He’s just world class and to have him in the team gives you more confidence, especially when you’re defending a total,” Sammy said. “You know what he’s capable of. Throughout this series he’s been a champion for us,” added Sammy.
New Zealand’s chase has a
shaky start when Rob Nicol fell second ball to Tino Best. But Brendon McCullum and Martin Guptill responded positively in a stand of
62 for the second wicket before Narine made his first intervention. McCullum had contributed 33 off 34 balls when he was squared up by a straighter one and edged to Sammy at first slip.
New Zealand soon slipped to 77-3 in the 18th over when Narine
removed Guptill (33) leg before wicket (LBW) playing across the line. The middle order wobbled badly as captain Ross Taylor fell to Marlon Samuels via a freak stumping, and Best returned to claim Daniel Flynn for duck.
Taylor, advancing down the pitch, was hit on the pad by a
faster delivery but the deflection thudded into wicketkeeper Devon Thomas’ pad and back onto the stumps with the skipper out of his crease. Flynn cut Best straight to gully at 109-5 in the 27th over. Williamson provided some hope in stands of 31 with Tom Latham (11) and 68 with Andrew Ellis (28).
New Zealand looked to be in a good position with 36 required from the last 30 balls and Williamson and Ellis confident. But a magical catch from Chris Gayle, diving full length low to his right to remove Williamson off Narine triggered a collapse as the last four wickets tumbled for 13 runs. Williamson struck five fours and a six off 84 balls.
Ellis was Narine’s fourth scalp, bowled as he tried to attack and the spinner soon added Kyle Mills, also bowled. Narine’s figures were the best for a West Indian against New Zealand, beating Viv Richards’ 5-41 in 1987 at Dunedin.
Bravo finished off the match with the wicket of Trent Boult, who holed out to a jubilant Kieron Pollard at long on.