Black Caps win rain-shortened fourth one-dayer

MARK GEENTY
Last updated 18:21 04/01/2014
Brendon McCullum landscape
MARTIN HUNTER / Getty Images

Brendon McCullum bats today at Saxton Field.

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New Zealand are 2-1 up in the one-day international cricket series against West Indies after winning a rain-shortened game four in Nelson today.

The hosts won the fourth ODI by 58 runs via the Duckworth-Lewis method after rain arrived at 5.15pm and didn't let up. The game was called off at 6pm with the tourists 134-5 in the 34th ver.

At the end of 34 overs West Indies needed to be 193-5 to be ahead of the equation, after New Zealand racked up 285-6 off their 50 overs.

A minimum of 20 overs in the second innings is required to constitute a match, so New Zealand will go to Hamilton for the finale on Wednesday with an unbeatable series lead.

West Indies were always struggling in their chase after makeshift opener Chadwick Walton was run out by a diving Kane Williamson in the first over.

They were soon 2-2 when paceman Mitchell McClenaghan had Johnson Charles caught at fine leg by Tim Southee.

New Zealand were energetic in the field, and Kirk Edwards (24) was also run out by Brendon McCullum in another piece of lazy running by the tourists. Then the West Indies' most likely batsman, Lendl Simmons, was caught on the boundary for 43 off 48 balls.

Drops of rain began to fall in the 15th over so captain McCullum turned to his spinners Williamson and Nathan McCullum to rush through the overs to get them to 20. Nathan McCullum whipped through his to end with 1-30 off 10.

Earlier, opener Martin Guptill's knock of 81 set the platform for New Zealand's competitive total.

Guptill struggled early on but he anchored the innings with his 119-ball effort, while Jesse Ryder (47 off 49), Williamson (47 off 55) and Ross Taylor (49 off 44) ensured the West Indies would require a challenging run rate of 5.72.

Corey Anderson, fresh off his world record 36-ball century in Queenstown, only faced 13 deliveries today but brought the capacity 5300-strong crowd to their feet when he blasted Jason Holder's final ball of the innings over long on for six. He ended 17 not out.

After the pyrotechnics of Queenstown where Ryder and Anderson both struck brutal centuries and New Zealand hit 22 sixes in a 21-over innings, this was more measured as the hosts only cleared the boundary five times.

Saxton Oval, which became New Zealand's 13th ODI venue, offered a slow surface where the batsmen had to work hard for timing. It was telling that McCullum chose to bat first on winning the toss, breaking a run of 19 consecutive internationals in New Zealand where the toss winner has bowled first. The assumption was that the pitch would get tougher for batting as the day wore on.

West Indies were again guilty of fielding blunders, too, with three simple catches dropped off Holder who was the pick of the bowlers. Two of those were behind the wicket off Ryder, on 12 and 14.

Guptill was eight off 40 balls and struggling badly, but battled through and broke the shackles with a straight six off Dwayne Bravo (2-35).

He hit four fours and two sixes in his knock, before Holder removed him caught on the long-off boundary in the 42nd over.

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McCullum (14 off nine) was dropped first ball by Nikita Miller on the deep square boundary, again off Holder.

The recalled Tino Best was again expensive, going for 22 off his final over and ending with 1-70 off nine, while Holder (1-58) was unlucky. The West Indies sent down 23 overs of spin, with Sunil Narine taking 1-47 off nine.

West Indies were reduced to just 12 fit players on their injury-marred tour  after frontline seamer Ravi Rampaul suffered a fractured thumb.

Rampaul was struck on the left thumb by a ball while batting in the nets yesterday and was later diagnosed with a fracture.

It meant the West Indies fielded a team without seven regular frontline selections, with 12th man Kieran Powell the only other fit player in the tour party after allrounder Darren Sammy tore his hamstring in Queenstown.

Best and Kirk Edwards came into the side from the 159-run drubbing in Queenstown.

Paceman Tim Southee returned to the New Zealand team after missing the Auckland and Queenstown games due to minor surgery on his big toe. James Neesham, Colin Munro and Adam Milne were omitted.

- Fairfax Media

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