Pollard paves the way for WI
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – Kieron Pollard led a batting revival with a resolute 56, enhancing West Indies bid for a series-clinching victory in the fourth Digicel One-day International against New Zealand on Saturday here.
The beefy Pollard collected five fours and one six from 70 balls in a controlled innings, as West Indies, choosing to bat, were dismissed for 264 in 49.5 overs on another docile Warner Park pitch on a partly cloudy day.
Pollard reached his 50 from 63 balls, when he drilled an over-pitched delivery from Tim Southee through extra cover for his final boundary, in the 40th over.
He shared 46 for the fifth wicket with Marlon Samuels, but he crucially added 85 for the sixth wicket with Devon Thomas that resurrected West Indies from a mid-innings slump at 105 for five in the 27th over.
Samuels continued his rich vein of form with 46, wicketkeeper/batsman Thomas made 37, Andre Russell got 29 and West Indies captain Darren Sammy added 26.
After rain delayed the start by 15 minutes, West Indies ran into early trouble, when opener Johnson Charles was caught at mid-off for one, driving on the up in the fifth over, before two wickets to Southee in the space of six balls in the seventh over, left West Indies wobbling on 20 for three.
Gayle was lbw to Southee for 16, playing across a good delivery, and Dwayne Smith was caught at first slip for a five-ball duck, playing defensively forward to the same bowler.
Dwayne Bravo came to the crease and was fortunate on 14, when he played defensively forward to Jacob Oram and edged to New Zealand captain Ross Taylor, who put down a straightforward chance.
Bravo however, failed to make the most of the chance and was caught at deep mid-on for 18, when he mistimed a lofted drive off Oram in the 18th over, just when it appeared West Indies were looking to claw their way out of the hole.
Samuels continued the salvage operation with Pollard, taking West Indies past the 100-run threshold before he was lbw, playing back and across to off-spinner Nathan McCullum, bowling around the wicket, in the 27th over.
Thomas, playing his first match of the series, following Denesh Ramdin’s return home to Trinidad & Tobago for his wedding, stroked the ball with crisp assurance and was the perfect foil for the unusually sedate Pollard.
They put West Indies back on track before Thomas was caught at cover off Rob Nicol’s part-time off-spin, essaying an uppish drive in the 41st over.
Pollard reached his 50 before he was caught at cover, when he miscued a pull at a short ball from Oram in the 42nd over, leaving the bowlers to add more beef to the total.
Oram ended with three wickets for 42 runs from 10 overs and Southee finished with three for 53 from 9.5 overs.
West Indies made two changes, bringing Thomas and Tino Best in to Ramdin and fast bowler Ravi Rampaul respectively.
New Zealand were bolstered by the return of regular captain Ross Taylor, Brendon McCullum and Doug Bracewell in place of Daniel Flynn, B.J. Watling and Kyle Mills.
West Indies lead the five-match series 2-1, following a nine-wicket victory under the Duckworth-Lewis Method in the first Digicel ODI two Thursdays ago at Sabina Park in Jamaica, where they also won the second Digicel ODI by 55 runs last Saturday before losing the third Digicel ODI by 88 runs three days ago here.
WEST INDIES (maximum 50 overs)
J. Charles c Williamson b Bracewell 1
C. Gayle lbw b Southee 16
D.R. Smith c *Taylor b Southee 0
M. Samuels lbw b N. McCullum 46
D.J. Bravo c Boult b Oram 18
K. Pollard c B. McCullum b Oram 56
+D. Thomas c Taylor b Nicol 37
*D. Sammy c Guptill b Boult 26
A. Russell c Guptill b Oram 29
S. Narine not out 6
T. Best b Southee 3
Extras (lb5, w20, nb1) 26
TOTAL (all out) 264
Fall of wickets: 1-17 (Charles, 4.5 overs); 2-19 (Gayle, 6.1); 3-20 (Smith, 6.6); 4-59 (Bravo, 17.1); 5-105 (Samuels, 26.6); 6-190 (+Thomas, 40.4); 7-202 (Pollard, 42.5); 8-234 (*Sammy, 46.4); 9-258(Russell, 48.4)
Bowling: Bracewell 10-2-58-1 (w1); Boult 10-2-47-1 (w5); Southee 9.5-1-53-3 (nb1, w1); Oram 10-1-42-3 (w3); N. McCullum 4-0-34-1 (w9); Nicol 6-1-25-1 (w1)
NEW ZEALAND: R. Nicol, M. Guptill, B. McCullum, *R. Taylor, K. Williamson, +T. Latham, J. Oram, N. McCullum, T. Southee, D. Bracewell, T. Boult
Toss: West Indies
Umpires: R. Illingworth (England), P. Nero (West Indies)
TV umpire: R. Kettleborough (England)
Match referee: A. Pycroft (Zimbabwe)
Reserve umpire: J. Wilson (West Indies)