Russell all-round effort topped by NZ
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – An admirable all-round performance from Andre Russell was upstaged by a typical New Zealand team effort that crushed West Indies’ bid for a series-clinching result with an 88-run defeat in the third Digicel One-day International on Wednesday here.
On a day dedicated to the memory of Runako Morton, Russell exemplified the feisty qualities for which the late Windies batsman from federal neighbours Nevis had become known, when he smote three fours and four sixes in the top score of 42 not out from 24 balls, as the hosts unsuccessfully chased 250 for victory on a docile Warner Park pitch.
None of the hosts’ other batsmen reached 20, as their batting became unglued against the steady, if not menacing attack of the visitors, whose Jacob Oram, Nathan McCullum and Trent Boult collected two scalps apiece.
The crucial run outs of Marlon Samuels and Dwayne Bravo also undermined West Indies' bid for victory, and the result was formalised with 93 deliveries remaining, when Ravi Rampaul was caught at long-off from the bowling of Boult for nine.
The Windies now hold a 2-1 lead in the five-match series, following a nine-wicket victory under the Duckworth-Lewis Method in the first Digicel ODI last Thursday at Sabina Park in Jamaica, where they also won the second Digicel ODI by 55 runs last Saturday.
The fourth Digicel ODI will be played on Saturday at this venue, where the final Digicel ODI of the series will also take place two days later.
Russell had been the most successful bowler for the Caribbean side with four wickets for 57 runs from nine overs, as the New Zealanders posted 249 for nine from their allocation of 50 overs, after they were sent in to bat on another picture-perfect day.
Sunil Narine supported with two for 28 from his allotment of 10 overs, as Rob Nicol led consistent batting for the Black Caps with four fours and three sixes in 59 from 69 balls, McCullum scored 50 from 70 balls that included four fours and one six, B.J. Watling made 40 and Daniel Flynn got 28.
Johnson Charles then played a few rasping strokes to give West Indies a flourishing start to their chase, but he was lbw for 15, playing across a full-length delivery from Boult in the fourth over.
A near capacity holiday crowd had turned up to see Chris Gayle continue the sublime form that has accompanied his return to the international stage, but were soon silenced, when the talismanic opener was caught at slip for 11, playing defensively forward to Tim Southee in the ninth over.
West Indies were 33 for two and failed to defy conventional thinking that Gayle is the key to their batting, when they slumped to 62 for five in the 15th over, after Dwayne Smith, Dwayne Bravo and Marlon Samuels departed in the space of 19 deliveries.
Smith was caught at deep cover for 19 off Oram in the 12th over, when McCullum ran almost to the boundary’s edge to hold a catch with the ball dropping over his left shoulder.
Bravo was run out for two, when he failed to beat Southee’s throw to Kyle Mills at the bowler’s end going for a third run in the 13th over.
Two overs later, Samuels was also run out for 11, when he took a few exploratory steps out of his crease and failed to beat Martin Guptill’s direct hit from cover at the striker’s end in the 15th over, following a nifty bit of work from the fielder.
Denesh Ramdin joined Kieron Pollard and they started to get West Indies moving again, but they were two of three wickets that fell for 18 in the space of 29 deliveries that sealed the fate of the home team, as they sunk to 103 for eight in the 28th over.
Russell, dropped on 17 at extra cover off McCullum in the 29th over, gave the crowd false hope with a few typical lusty blows, including a monster hit six into the south stand, before Rampaul fell.
Earlier, Russell made an early breakthrough, when he trapped Guptill lbw for 11, playing back and across to well-pitched delivery in the sixth over.
But West Indies came under pressure, as left-hander Daniel Flynn joined Nicol, and flourished in a second wicket stand of 47 before Bravo had him caught behind for 28, essaying a square drive at a wide delivery in the 14th over.
Off-spinner Narine struck, when he bowled New Zealand captain Kane Williamson for nine off the inside edge in the 19th over, leaving his side 97 for three.
Sammy bowled a tight spell of eight overs that cost 22 to slow the scoring and had Tom Latham caught at mid-wicket for 12 in the 26th over, when the batsman miscued a hook at a short, slowly rising delivery.
Next over, Samuels, bowling his uncomplicated off-spin darts, struck in his second over, when Nicol, whose knock included four fours and three sixes from 69 balls, gave him a return catch off the leading edge, trying to turn a delivery into the leg-side, as New Zealand wobbled to 125 for five.
West Indies met serious resistance for the first time, when McCullum came to the crease and joined Watling, and they put on 66 for the sixth wicket, as New Zealand entered the final 10 overs on 184 for five.
But Russell again made a vital strike, when Watling was caught at fine leg for 40, mistiming a scoop over the shoulder in the 41st over.
Russell added the scalps of Kyle Mills, caught at cover for two from a miscued hook, and McCullum, caught at deep mid-wicket from a mistimed pull, in the closing overs, as West Indies conceded 65 from the final 10 overs.
NEW ZEALAND (maximum 50 overs)
R. Nicol c and b Samuels 59
M. Guptill lbw b Russell 11
D. Flynn c wkpr Ramdin b Bravo 28
*K. Williamson b Narine 9
T. Latham c Gayle b *Sammy 12
+B.J. Watling c Narine b Russell 40
N. McCullum c Bravo b Russell 50
J. Oram st +Ramdin b Narine 7
K. Mills c Gayle b Russell 2
T. Southee not out 17
T. Boult not out 1
Extras (lb6, w5, nb2) 13
TOTAL (9 wkts) 249
Fall of wickets: 1-24 (Guptill, 5.1 overs); 2-71 (Flynn, 13.3); 3-97 (*Williamson, 18.3); 4-124 (Latham, 25.1); 5-125 (Nicol, 26.1); 6-191 (+Watling, 40.3); 7-216 (Oram, 44.3); 8 -219 (Mills, 45.4); 9-239 (McCullum, 49.1)
Bowling: Rampaul 10-0-61-0 (w1); Russell 9-0-57-4 (w1); Bravo 7-0-47-1 (nb2, w2); Narine 10-0-28-2 (w1); *Sammy 8-1-22-1; Samuels 6-0-28-1
WEST INDIES (target: 250 off 50 overs)
J. Charles lbw b Boult 15
C. Gayle c Nicol b Southee 11
D.R. Smith c N. McCullum b Oram 19
M. Samuels run out (Guptill) 11
D.J. Bravo run out (Southee/Mills) 2
K. Pollard c (sub) Brownlie b N. McCullum 16
+D. Ramdin lbw b Oram 14
*D. Sammy c and b N. McCullum 7
A. Russell not out 42
S. Narine run out (Guptill) 10
R. Rampaul c Southee b Boult 9
Extras (lb3, w1, nb1) 5
TOTAL (all out) 161
Fall of wickets: 1-19 (Charles, 3.2 overs); 2-33 (Gayle, 8.4); 3-50 (Smith, 11.4); 4-52 (Bravo, 12.2); 5-62 (Samuels, 14.4); 6-85 (Pollard, 22.5); 7-95 (*Sammy, 26.1); 8-103 (+Ramdin, 27.3); 9-133 (Narine, 30.5)
Bowling: Mills 7-2-37-0; Boult 8.3-0-45-2 (nb1); Southee 6-1-14-1 (w1); Oram 7-1-22-2; N. McCullum 6-0-40-2
Result: New Zealand won by 88 runs (93 balls remaining)
Series: West Indies lead five-match series 2-1
Toss: West Indies
Man-of-the-Match: R. Nicol (New Zealand)
Umpires: R. Kettleborough (England), J. Wilson (West Indies)
TV umpire: R. Illingworth (England)
Match referee: A. Pycroft (Zimbabwe)
Reserve umpire: P. Nero (West Indies)