Russell hurts NZ again, WI to chase 250
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – Andre Rusell led another steady bowling performance, as West Indies defied half-centuries from Rob Nicol and Nathan McCullum in their bid for a series-clinching victory in the third Digicel One-day International against New Zealand on Wednesday.
Russell was the most successful West Indies bowler with four wickets for 57 runs from nine overs, as New Zealand, sent in to bat, posted 249 for nine from their allocation of 50 overs, after they were sent in to bat on a typically hard, docile Warner Park pitch on another picture-perfect day.
Sunil Narine supported with two for 28 from his allotment of 10 overs, as Nicol led the way for New Zealand 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.
Russell made an early breakthrough, when he trapped lanky opener Martin 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.
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.
West Indies captain Darren 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, Marlon 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.
West Indies dropped Lendl Simmons and brought in Johnson Charles to open the batting with Chris Gayle, while New Zealand replaced leg-spinner Tarun Nethula with left-arm fast-medium bowler Trent Boult.
West Indies lead the five-match series 2-0, 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 last two Digicel ODIs will be played this coming Saturday and the following Monday at this venue.
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: C. Gayle, J. Charles, D.R. Smith, M. Samuels, D.J. Bravo, K. Pollard, *D. Sammy, A. Russell, +D. Ramdin, R. Rampaul, S. Narine
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)