A late batting onslaught by Ramnaresh Sarwan and Denesh Ramdin saw the West Indies snatch victory with a ball to spare in the one-day international against New Zealand yesterday.
In a match reduced to 28 overs per side after a lengthy disruption caused by thunder and hail, New Zealand made 152 for eight and under the Duckworth-Lewis system the West Indies were set a target of 158 to win.
Man-of-the-match Sarwan fittingly hit the winning run off the penultimate delivery to finish unbeaten on 67 off 65 balls, while Ramdin was also unbeaten on 28 from 18.
For much of the innings the target had seemed out of reach for the West Indies.
Midway through the 23rd over, when Ramdin came to the crease at the fall of Kieron Pollard’s wicket, they were 110 for five.
With three overs remaining the West Indies still required 30 runs, before Sarwan and Ramdin fully opened up, taking 12 off a Tim Southee over and then 14 off Jeetan Patel.
In a desperate final over, Ramdin took two off the first delivery bowled by Southee and then he and Sarwan took singles off the fourth and fifth balls to seal the match.
In between both, Brendon McCullum and Grant Elliot missed shies at the stumps that could have resulted in run outs.
New Zealand were rocked in the third over when Fidel Edwards had the big-hitting Brendon McCullum caught behind by Ramdin for 1 and they never recovered.
Edwards came back late in the match, when New Zealand were trying to up the batting rate, to remove Jacob Oram and Daniel Vettori in the space of two balls and return the best bowling figures for the West Indies of three for 26.
Jesse Ryder, who was on 20 when the storm broke in the seventh over, top scored for New Zealand with 32 off 43 balls.
For the most part New Zealand were hampered by tight West Indies fielding and at one stage went 12 overs without a boundary.
Oram broke the drought when he clubbed a six and two fours off a Gayle over, before being caught in the next over by Chattergoon off Edwards for 25.
Jamie How contributed 27, while Grant Elliot at the end finished unbeaten on 30.
New Zealand also had early bowling success when Chattergoon was bowled by Southee in the fourth over for 6.
Vettori then made a key breakthrough when he captured the West Indies most-prized wicket of Chris Gayle, clean bowled for 36.
With their illustrious skipper back in the pavilion, the West Indies appeared to lose their way as Xavier Marshall, Brendan Nash and Pollard all fell cheaply, before Sarwan and Ramdin turned their fortunes around.
■BANGLADESH V S LANKA
AP, CHITTAGONG, BANGLADESH
Tillakaratne Dilshan scored a century and put on a 173-run stand with Chamara Kapugedara yesterday to steer Sri Lanka to 371-6 at stumps on the first day of the second Test against Bangladesh.
Dilshan smashed 21 fours and two sixes to hit 162 from 165 balls for his sixth Test century. It helped rescue Sri Lanka after the visitors were 75-4 at one stage, with opening bowler Mashrafe bin Mortaza taking two early wickets.
Kapugedara was 93 not out at the end of play after collecting 12 boundaries in 117 balls as he shared in a Sri Lankan record sixth-wicket stand with Dilshan. Opener Malinda Warnapura hit 63 and was the only other batsman to make more than 19.
Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene won the toss and opted to bat on a spin-friendly, slow pitch. But Mortaza trapped Prasanna Jayawardene leg before wicket for a duck in the first over and bowled Kumar Sangakkara for 5 in the third to leave Sri Lanka on 7-2.