West Indies won the 4th ODI at St Kitts by 24 runs and with that capture the 5-match series 3-1. This was despite a heroic century from New Zealand Skipper Ross Taylor, who made 110 from just 115 balls. It was a good win for West Indies as they posted 264 on the board after being reduced to 105 for 5 in 27 overs at one stage.
Batting first after winning the toss, the homeside lost both its openers including Chris Gayle by the 7th over on a pitch that was offering steep bounce and sideways movement because of being under covers. Gayle (16) was trapped lbw by the very first ball of a spell from Tim Southee. Windies struggled further to 59 for 4 in the 18th over when Dwayne Bravo (18) threw his wicket away looking to play a flamboyant drive on the up.
The innings for West Indies began to take some shape through the partnership between Marlon Samuels and Kieron Pollard who took the score past 100. In the 27th over, Windies were back in trouble as Marlon Samuels (46 from 64 balls with 6 fours and a six) was dismissed lbw to Nathan McCullum. From 105 for 5, West Indies recovered superbly thanks to an 85-run stand between Pollard and Wicket Keeper Devon Thomas (37 from 43 balls with 3 fours and a six). Pollard scored a crucial 56 (from 70 balls with 5 fours and a six) to help West Indies past 200.
Despite being in a position of 202 for 7 in the 43rd over, West Indies went onto put up 264 before losing all its wickets. Skipper Darren Sammy (26 from 22 balls with a four and 2 sixes) and Andre Russell with 29 (from 16 balls with 2 fours and 2 sixes) gave a wonderful finishing to the Windies. For the Kiwis, Tim Southee and Jacob Oram took three wickets each.
New Zealand in their run chase were positive with opener Rob Nicol striking the ball crisply. Nicol scored 35 (from 32 balls with 3 fours and 2 sixes) before he flicked Darren Sammy into the hands of deep squareleg. The Kiwis were 63 for 3 in the 11th over when this happened and soon were in trouble at 75 for 4 when Kane Williamson (3) was plumb infront of middle after missing a pull shot to Sunil Narine.
The visitors found their much needed partnership when left-handed Tom Latham (32 from 62 balls) joined Skipper Taylor and knocked the ball around nicely to add 71 runs for the 5th wicket. The Kiwis were back in the contest at 146 for 5 in the 34th over and with Ross Taylor unleashing some brilliant slogs, the pressure was on the hosts to take wickets. While Taylor was setting up the Kiwis nicely, at the other end, Jacob Oram screwed it up with a match-losing innings of 6 from 18 balls before getting cleaned up by Tino Best with NZ at 219 for 7. The West Indian bowlers got plenty of stick from Taylor but one man – Sunil Narine stood out and hardly conceded any runs by mesmerizing the batsmen with his variations.
Ross Taylor who scored his 6th ODI century eventually lost his wicket when he got a leading edge to a full toss to point to end his one-man show in the 49th over. New Zealand were bowled out for 240 in 49.3 overs. Sunil Narine, who came up with outstanding figures of 10-1-20-2 got the Man of the Match award. Tino Best, who kept on clocking around 145 kmph got 4 wickets for 46 in his 10 overs though he didn’t bowl that well as his figures would suggest.
Toss and Teams: West Indies have won the toss and elected to bat first in the 4th ODI at the Warner Park in Basseterre, St Kitts. The conditions for this match are overcast with the sun hardly breaking through. The big news is that Ross Taylor is fit again, so he will take over the captaincy from Kane Williamson. Experienced Brendon McCullum is also back after some gap for the visitors. New Zealand are in a must win situation as they are trailing this 5-match series 1-2.
West Indies: CH Gayle, J Charles, DR Smith, MN Samuels, KA Pollard, DJ Bravo, DC Thomas (Wicket Keeper), DJG Sammy (Captain), SP Narine, TL Best, AD Russell
New Zealand: RJ Nicol, MJ Guptill, KS Williamson, LRPL Taylor (Captain), TWM Latham (Wicket Keeper), JDP Oram, BB McCullum, NL McCullum, TG Southee, DAJ Bracewell, TA Boult