Nathan McCullum smashed a half-century and took two wickets plus a crucial catch to lead New Zealand to an 88-run victory over the West Indies in the third one-day international on Wednesday to cut the hosts’ lead to 2-1 in the five-match series.
McCullum hit four boundaries and a six from 70 balls as New Zealand reached 249-9 off 50 overs at Warner Park in Basseterre, St Kitts.
He then took 2-40 from six overs, removing big-hitting Kieron Pollard (16) and Darren Sammy (7), then caught Dwayne Smith (19) off Jacob Oram, who claimed 2-22 from seven overs.
Opener Rob Nicol top-scored for New Zealand with 59 off 69 deliveries, while B.J. Watling also chipped in with 40.
The West Indies’ run chase never got going, the hosts being bowled out for 161 off 34.3 overs, with debutant seamer Trent Boult taking 2-45.
Andre Russell smacked 42 not out off 24 balls with three fours and four sixes, but no other West Indies batsman passed 20 with New Zealand also executing three fine run-outs.
Boult gave the Black Caps a good start when he claimed Johnson Charles (15) leg before wicket to an in-swinging full toss, but it was Tim Southee who delivered the most decisive strike, removing in-form batsman Chris Gayle for 11.
Gayle, with scores of 85 not out, 53, 63 not out and 125 in the two Twenty20 matches and the first two one-day internationals, fell to a catch at first slip to make it 33-2.
New Zealand’s high standard of fielding delivered the next wicket, with McCullum sprinting in from extra-cover to take a brilliant catch and remove Smith.
It was soon 52-4 when Dwayne Bravo tried for a crazy third run and was caught well short by Southee’s pinpoint return from the deep.
Marlon Samuels, a century-maker in the last match, soon fell to another sensational piece of fielding. Martin Guptill made a diving stop at extra-cover and, in one motion, threw down the stumps as Samuels dived in vain to leave the West Indies tottering at 62-5.
McCullum then removed Pollard and Sammy, and the match was as good as over.
Pollard holed out to deep mid-wicket, while Sammy chipped tamely back to the bowler off a leading edge at 95-7.
Russell swung lustily to try to inspire a miracle, but Oram claimed Denesh Ramdin leg before wicket, Sunil Narine was brilliantly run out by Kane Williamson and Ravi Rampaul skied a catch to end the resistance.
The fourth match in the five-match series is at the same venue tomorrow.