New Zealand v West Indies, 4th ODI, Nelson January 4, 2014

Big win for New Zealand in Nelson debut


New Zealand 285 for 6 (Guptill 81) beat West Indies 134 for 5 by 58 runs (D/L method)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Worries over the weather spoiling the first ever ODI in Nelson were eased when the sell-out crowd was greeted by blue skies and bright sunshine on Saturday morning. The rain did arrive, but only after the match was well out of West Indies' reach and ended up curtailing a massive mismatch, the sort of ODI which cries out for shortening.

New Zealand finished on 285, two more than what they plundered in Queenstown, though this time they had the full 50 overs and produced a more conventionally paced innings. It was a combined effort from New Zealand's batsmen, with each of the top four making 47 or more, though only Martin Guptill went on to a half-century, top scoring with 81.

It's hard to see how an injury-hit West Indies squad could compete in this series. They already have a lengthy list of sidelined players, and there was an addition today when Ravi Rampaul was ruled out with a finger injury. That meant the visitors are without at least six first-choice players and were down to 12 available players.

While the bowling, at least, is of international standard, the current batting does not measure up. Chadwick Walton, a man with a List A batting average of 16, opened the innings today and was promptly run-out for a duck in the first over. Even with Walton absurdly high in the order, Dwayne Bravo came out at No. 5 - at least one, and possibly two, spots higher than he would in a strong line-up. Lendl Simmons is the only player with an average above 30, and the rest of the specialist batsmen have little international experience.

It was two of their most experienced players, however, who put down two sitters off Jesse Ryder early in the innings, Jason Holder the unlucky bowler on both occasions. First, Denesh Ramdin somehow missed the most straightforward of chances for a wicketkeeper and a couple of overs later, the captain Bravo - on his day, one of the most electric fielders in the world - let through a simple chance above shoulder height at slip.

Even with those basic fielding mistakes, West Indies did a reasonable job early on. Holder gave nothing away, conceding only nine off his five-over spell, including two maidens to a struggling Guptill, who plodded to 2 off 29 deliveries as he searched for form.

At the other end, Tino Best was mostly wayward, and received some punishment from Ryder, who played a range of flamboyant strokes in a chance-filled 47 at nearly a run-a-ball.

Guptill started to grow in confidence after spending time in the middle, and the release finally came when he pummelled Bravo over long-off for a six in the 17th over. He had been 8 off 40 before that shot. With the spinners coming on, Guptill and new batsman Kane Williamson worked the bowling to score above five an over without taking much risk. Williamson used his feet adeptly, regularly moving across the stumps to manoeuvre the ball around.

By the time Williamson was dismissed in the 32nd over, top-edging a pull to the keeper, New Zealand had moved to 144 for 2, setting the stage for the lengthy list of power-hitters to follow. Ross Taylor & Co. weren't at their absolute best but had the freedom to swing the bat around without worrying about the wickets column, which led to 92 being scored in the final 10 overs.

West Indies' chase began with Walton's run-out in the first over, and took another hit when the other opener, Johnson Charles, also fell for a duck, flicking to fine leg. Simmons and Kirk Edwards briefly kept West Indies in it, but Edwards' run-out sucked the momentum out of the chase.

With a drizzle arriving around the 15th over, New Zealand turned to their spinners to quickly get through to the 20-over point. They hastened the speed of the game, but lowered the pace of scoring and when Simmons holed out to midwicket for 43 in the 22nd over, the chase was essentially lost. West Indies pottered around for 12 more overs, before the rain became heavy enough to quicken what would have been a drawn-out defeat.

Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ALIENA on January 5, 2014, 20:10 GMT

    please fire some of the players. They are an embarresment to the world.

  • ESPN on January 5, 2014, 20:05 GMT

    Ronchi keeps coming in with two overs to go. He will get his chance to plays some good innings and will. Best keeper in the country by the way! Needs more than 6 balls to build an innings. He was electric when given time on Sri Lanka. Latham is an average keeper who opens . How does that make sense in this team . No good having him at 7 he's cant hit from ball one like ronchi.and he is no show of bumping Ryder and guptill. Wattling could only bat seven and exact story. Do you want wattling coming in with five overs to go he will just get pushed down and down the order. Balance people balance.

  • Dummy4 on January 5, 2014, 13:20 GMT

    @SL-USA-Lions...I agree with you that the current group of players are just not good enough. But the real problem for us is the fact that if you hold a regional tournament right now with all available West Indian talent playing, these same players with one or maybe two exceptions, will lead the list of run scorers and wicket takers. Case in point Nikita Miller. He is most often the leading wicket taker after each tournament year after year. At international level he can barely get a wicket.

  • azad on January 5, 2014, 5:07 GMT

    Question? Who is brutalanalyst,please examine your ill-thought point of view and keep them to yourself.Your writings if you can call it that makes no contribution to the development of West Indian cricket.

  • Roy on January 5, 2014, 3:29 GMT

    West Indies beat New Zealand at home, now New Zealand did the same! West Indies will bounce back, they have some of the best players in the world. The 50 overs and 4 day is about to start, they will come back strong, Dwayne Smith, Gayle, 2 Bravo's, Samuel, Pollard, Sammy, Holder, Rampaul, Roach, Narine, Chanderpaul, Simmons and Ramdin. This is the best team they have now! Out of this team 8 players is not here in New Zealand, and there was some good players who did not get pick from the India A team tour. Hope the selectors look at 2-4 new players to come in, some thing need to be done, two series lost and back to the islands to recuperate.

  • adit on January 5, 2014, 0:38 GMT

    WI continues to disappoint. The entire leadership needs revamping, from the board, selectors, coach, manager, captains. There definitely is a crisis on hand and the board seems to care less. Sad indeed. Time for the Caricom leaders to hold the WICB accountable for its disgraceful performance. How can anyone in his/her right senses justify these actions: i) Cameron was voted in front of legendary Clive Lloyd, who made himself available to WI the board, ii) after dismal stint as coach, Gibson was given another contract, iii) Sammy was given a long term contract and guaranteed a place in team despite his performance, iv) Sammy is good one day player and equally bad test player but he was replaced as one day captain and retained as test captain. There are no role models in the leadership to inspire any of the players. So, any surprise at what is happening? With so many players injured, barring accidents, is anyone asking the coach what's going on? Unity crisis? Is Tony Cozier right?

  • Dummy4 on January 5, 2014, 0:07 GMT

    There's often lameting in cricket about bowlers not getting through overs quickly enough. This match showed that racing between deliveries to bowl an over in a couple of minutes can completely throw a batsman's concentration. Why is this not regularly used as a deliberate tactic to confuse the batting side?

  • Dummy4 on January 4, 2014, 23:11 GMT

    NZ cricket has been were the West Indies are now and took steps to fix it. It can be done.

    WI needs to take a simultaneous "top down - bottom up" approach.

    Top Down: Find the administration structure that supports the top level players. NZ went for a system that has large amounts player control and input as opposed to a coaching setup that has complete control. The captain, vice captain and senior players work with the coaching staff and have quite a bit of input. That might not suit all teams. Find the one that works best.

    Bottom Up: Fix the grounds and pitches. That is a must. Have a clear career path for a young player to follow. And have the people in place to guide them along that career path. And have the tournaments that support player growth in the areas you want to make strong. No use in having a fantastic T20 league and no four day tournament of note if you want to increase the strength of your test team. To many times it comes back to pitches.

    It's a work in progress.

  • Carl on January 4, 2014, 21:28 GMT

    Patently, any side missing so many players - Gayle, D.B.Bravo, Samuels, Pollard, Roach, Rampaul, Shillingford and Sammy are all probable starters for West Indies, would struggle. Have the fringe players let West Indies down? Certainly, that much is certain - but calls for West Indies to stop playing cricket is simply ridiculous and the reason of those without rational thought.

  • Android on January 4, 2014, 21:24 GMT

    Get Watling in the side, as many people have been mentioning, he can do the same role he has been in Tests. Apparently he isn't in the side because of his strike rate but that's a bit unfair, as he is capable of scoring quickly. He only does it when the situation requires quick runs, he's a smart cricketer who has more than earned the chance to represent his side/country in these shorter formats.

    Ronchi is a good, destructive player and a fine wicket-keeper but I think he should be higher up the order. If they aren't going to do that thrn bring Watling in, simple.

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