Russell, Bravo power Windies
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – Half-centuries from Andre Russell and Dwayne Bravo propped up West Indies batting, helping them to a respectable total against New Zealand in the final Digicel One-day International on Monday at Warner Park.
Russell led the way with a typically stroke-filled, unbeaten 59 and Bravo made 53, as the Windies, choosing to bat, posted 241 for nine from their allocation of 50 overs on another docile Warner Park pitch in sunny conditions.
Marlon Samuels supported with 43 and Devon Thomas made 20, after the home team stumbled to 37 for three early in the ninth over.
Bravo, dropped on 14, when he offered a return chance to Andrew Ellis in the 22nd over, shared two vital stands with Samuels and Thomas that breathed life back into the West Indies innings. He struck three fours and one six from 93 balls.
He started the recovery operation with Samuels, putting on 60 for the fourth wicket, and continued to lead the salvage job, adding 53 for the sixth wicket with Thomas.
Samuels was caught at cover, trying to force a delivery from Tim Southee off the back-foot in the 26th over, and Thomas was caught at deep mid-wicket off Andrew Ellis in the 38th over before Windies captain Darren Sammy was caught behind off Kyle Mills for two in the following over.
The Caribbean side were stumbling on 160 for seven, but Russell took charge late in the innings, clubbing six fours and three sixes from 40 deliveries, helping West Indies collect 77 in the last 10 overs.
West Indies had been set back, when Chris Gayle was caught at backward point for five, essaying a cut at a short, wide delivery from Kyle Mills in the fifth over.
Two overs later, Johnson Charles too, was caught at backward point off Southee for 15, when he sparred at a delivery that sprung from a good length.
Dwayne Smith was lbw to Southee for nine two overs later, when he played across a full length delivery, leaving West Indies 37 for three in the ninth over.
But Bravo and Russell made merry, transforming the complexion of the innings, as Southee ended with three wickets for 37 runs from his allotment of 10 overs, Mills finished with three for 40 from 10 overs, and Andrew Ellis grabbed two for 54 from 10 overs.
West Indies were unchanged from the previous match, but New Zealand made three changes with Andrew Ellis, Daniel Flynn and Kyle Mills, replacing Nathan McCullum, Doug Bracewell and Jacob Oram.
West Indies hold an unbeatable 3-1 lead in the five-match series, following a 24-run victory in the penultimate Digicel ODI last Saturday at the same venue.
West Indies also won the first Digicel ODI by nine wickets under the Duckworth-Lewis Method two Thursdays ago at Sabina Park in Jamaica, where they also won the second Digicel ODI by 55 runs two Saturdays ago before losing the third Digicel ODI by 88 runs last Wednesday here.
WEST INDIES (maximum 50 overs)
J. Charles c Nicol b Southee 15
C. Gayle c Nicol b Mills 5
D.R. Smith lbw b Southee 9
M. Samuels c Guptill b Southee 43
D.J. Bravo c B. McCullum b Ellis 53
K. Pollard c Guptill b Williamson 7
+D. Thomas c Southee b Ellis 20
*D. Sammy c wkpr Latham b Mills 2
A. Russell not out 59
S. Narine c B. McCullum b Mills 6
T. Best not out 5
Extras (lb8, w9) 17
TOTAL (9 wkts) 241
Fall of wickets: 1-23 (Gayle, 4.4 overs); 2-32 (Charles, 6.6); 3-37 (Smith, 8.2); 4-97 (Samuels, 25.1); 5-101 (Pollard, 26.5); 6-157 (Thomas, 37.3); 7-160 (*Sammy, 38.2); 8-180 (Narine, 43.1); 9-216 (Narine, 46.1)
Bowling: Mills 10-1-40-3 (w1); Boult 8-0-29-0 (w2); Southee 10-1-37-3 (w1); Ellis 10-1-54-2 (w2); Nicol 5-0-27-0 (w1); Flynn 2-0-10-0; Williamson 5-0-36-1 (w2)
NEW ZEALAND: R. Nicol, M. Guptill, B. McCullum, *R. Taylor, K. Williamson, D. Flynn, +T. Latham, A. Ellis, T. Southee, K. Mills, T. Boult
Toss: West Indies
Umpires: R. Kettleborough (England), J. Wilson (West Indies)
TV umpire: R. Illingworth (England)
Match referee: A. Pycroft (Zimbabwe)
Reserve umpire: P. Nero (West Indies)