Taylor’s century goes in vain as West Indies take series
Chasing a challenging total, Ross Taylor tried his best to earn a win for his side but no one supported him from the other end as New Zealand face a 24-run defeat and also conceded an unassailable 3-1 lead to the home side.
After a brilliant comeback in the previous ODI, a confident New Zealand, buoyed further by the inclusion of Brendon McCullum took on a complacent West Indies in an attempt to level the 5-match series. There was some rain early morning because of which the outfield was slightly soggy which led to a delay of the start.
The big guns were back for New Zealand in the form of Ross Taylor and Brendon McCullum. Taylor called incorrectly and West Indies elected to bat. It was Denesh Ramdin’s wedding and he missed out while Ravi Rampaul was left out for Tino Best. New Zealand left out Daniel Flynn and the injured Bradley Watling while Doug Bracewell replaced Kyle Mills.
Like the previous game, the Kiwis got a head start. But it was more than what one would call a great one. Kane Williamson picked up a blinder at mid off to dismiss Charles while Tim Southee struck twice in his first over to leave the Windies tottering at 20/3. Marlon Samuels and Dwayne Bravo then managed to steady the proceedings and took the home side to 26/3 by the end of the Quick Start Overs.
Bravo fell in the 18th over and West Indies added 15/1 in Powerplay 2. Kieron Pollard then added some useful runs with Samuels but when the latter was dismissed in the 27th over with the score just above 100, West Indies looked to be in all sorts of trouble. But then, the new comer Devon Thomas got settled in with Pollard and the duo batted brilliantly.
They smashed 53 runs in Powerplay 3 and when Thomas departed in the 41st over, the Windies looked set to cross 250. They lost wickets in the process but managed to reach 264, getting bowled out on the penultimate delivery. Kieron Pollard top scored with 56 and finished with a Batting Momentum of 67. For New Zealand, Tim Southee and Jacob Oram took 3 wickets each, with the latter gaining the best Bowling Efficiency of 173.
Have a look at the scorecard
In reply, New Zealand got off to a poor start. Martin Guptill continued his horror tour by getting dismissed by Tino Best in the very first over. Rob Nicol and Brendon McCullum then counter-attacked and took the run-rate above 7 before McCullum was dismissed in the 8th over. The Kiwis ended the Quick Start Overs on 63/2 and it seemed as if the run chase was on.
But then, a flurry of wickets dented the chase. Sammy got rid of the set Nicol and then Sunil Narine sent Kane Williamson back to the pavilion and it was all looking one-sided. Also, Powerplay 2 yielded just 9 runs and with 180 needed at run a ball with 6 wickets in hand, the hosts were well on top.
Taylor and Tom Latham then got together and added a slow and sluggish 71 for the fifth wicket and when the time was ripe for acceleration, Latham lost his wicket and the situation, which was looking as if it was improving, started to worsen again. Taylor kept the Kiwis going, clobbering Samuels for successive sixes in his final over and with 79 needed from 60 balls, with 4 wickets in hand, it was anyone’s game.
New Zealand had all the experience in the middle to score down the required runs as Jacob Oram came out to partner Taylor. But his poor form continued and he didn’t last long. Ross Taylor targeted one over of Andre Russell and hammered him for 21 runs. He went on to notch up his maiden ODI ton against West Indies and the visitors sniffed a chance to win from there on. But that hope was short lived as the home side bounced back with the crucial wicket of Taylor in the 49th over and it was game, set and match in favour of West Indies.
For his magnificent effort with the bat, Ross Taylor earned the Batting Momentum of 149, while with four wickets in the match Tino Best was the best bowler. However, for conceding just 20 runs in his 10 overs and also picking up a couple of wickets, Sunil Narine received the best Bowling Efficiency of 256.
Not only on the field, it was a close fight on the Index too with West Indies (53) edging out NZ by just five points. Sunil Narine bagged the Man of the Match award for his economical spell and yielded the Overall Castrol Index points of 60. Ross Taylor with 59 points was New Zealand’s best bet.
The fifth and final ODI will be played at this same venue on Monday, 16th July, 2012 at 1330 GMT.