Wed, Jan 14, 2009 - Page 19 News List

New Zealand claim ODI series after damp decider

AFP , NAPIER, NEW ZEALAND

New Zealand’s Jesse Ryder plays and misses against the West Indies in yesterday’s fifth one day international at McLean Park in Napier, New Zealand.

PHOTO: AP

An opening batting blitz and timely rain gave New Zealand a nine-run victory in the winner-takes-all final one-day international against the West Indies yesterday.

The stars of the game were West Indies captain Chris Gayle, who made 135, and Shivnarine Chanderpaul with 94, but the match and the series were decided by the weather and the Duckworth-Lewis system.

New Zealand, chasing a target of 294, were behind on the calculations as the first drops of rain fell.

But they called an immediate power-play, during which Ross Taylor and Grant Elliot belted 21 runs in two overs before being forced from the field in the 35th over.

New Zealand were then 211 for five, ahead of the required rate by nine runs under the Duckworth-Lewis method.

The win gave New Zealand the ODI series 2-1.

Captain Daniel Vettori foresaw that the rain could play a significant role when he won the toss, putting the West Indies into bat so he could keep an eye on the run target should rain intervene.

Gayle and Chanderpaul set about building a formidable target putting on 170 in 26 overs for the third wicket.

But once the breakthrough came, there was little backbone in the West Indies line-up and New Zealand kept the tourists below the psychological 300-run mark.

In reply, the home side started at whirlwind pace with Jesse Ryder and Brendon McCullum cracking 59 for the first wicket in less than six overs.

Martin Guptill kept New Zealand ahead of the run rate with 43 from 39 balls before Taylor and Elliot took 15 off one over by Lionel Baker and six off Daren Powell before the game was stopped.

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