Windies win big, take series 2-0

Fort Lauderdale, Florida – Chris Gayle smashed his second successive fifty and spinner Sunil Narine claimed 4-12 as West Indies romped to a 61-run victory over New Zealand to win 2-0 in the Digicel Twenty20 series in the United States.

Gayle's 53 off 39 balls set up the Caribbean side's formidable total of 177-5 off 20 overs at Central Broward Regional Park. Johnson Charles (36) and Dwayne Bravo (35 not out) provided valuable support. Offspinner Nathan McCullum took 2-19 from three overs.

New Zealand's run chase never reached the required impetus, with no batsman managing to pass 22 as it was bowled out for 116 off 18.4 overs.  There were two wickets apiece for Bravo (2-23) and Marlon Samuels (2-25).

Gayle slammed an unbeaten 85 on Saturday in West Indies' 56-run win at the same venue.

West Indies, after winning the toss, made another frenetic start with Dwayne Smith cracking two sixes in the first over before he fell for 13 to paceman Doug Bracewell's first delivery, top-edging a pull for a return catch.

But Gayle, after a slow start, and Charles soon set a strong platform in their busy partnership. Charles fell to make it 86-2 in the 12th over, pulling Rob Nicol to short fine leg.

McCullum eventually claimed Gayle, who was bowled swinging across the line, and Lendl Simmons, caught at deep square leg, in the same over as the Caribbean side slipped to 124-4 after 16 overs. However, Bravo hit out toward the end with four massive sixes in an entertaining passage of play, even though captain Darren Sammy fell for 13 off Tim Southee.

New Zealand had an encouraging start as opener Martin Guptill and Rob Nicol added 26 for the first wicket. But the innings never recovered once Narine removed them in successive deliveries in the fifth over.

Guptill, who hit 18 off 18 balls, sliced to backward point while Nicol played across the line and was stumped as he overbalanced to leave the score at 26-2.  Kane Williamson, stand-in captain for the injured Ross Taylor, was run out for 6 as the tourists slumped further to 33-3. When Narine bowled Dean Brownlie for 1, the Kiwis were wobbling at 43-5.

Left-hander Daniel Flynn top-scored with 22 before he was sixth out at 69, giving offspinner Marlon Samuels a wicket with his first ball.  Narine returned to remove Andrew Ellis, who holed out to Bravo at deep midwicket.

Bravo finished things off with the final two wickets, Doug Bracewell swinging a catch to deep midwicket and Nathan McCullum skying a return catch.

The five-match Digicel One-Day Series begins on Thursday at Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica.

Full scoreboard:

Sun, 07/01/2012 - 15:54