Bravo pleased replacements causing 'competition' in squad
West Indies handed New Zealand their second-biggest ODI defeat - in terms of runs - after their batsmen lifted them to a whopping 363 for 4. Kieran Powell, opening in place of the injured Chris Gayle, slammed 73 off 44 balls, before Kirk Edwards - who also came into the XI after a spate of injuries - hit his maiden ODI ton. Captain Bravo then built on the platform, also getting to a century. In reply, New Zealand were shot out for 160, 204 runs short of their target.
"[The openers Johnson] Charles and Powell were going through a tough time, but it was important me and the coach backed them," Bravo said. "They have done great things for us in the past, and the way Powell started put pressure on New Zealand straightaway. Then Edwards came in at No. 3, under pressure, and took the opportunity by getting a maiden century.
"I can't single out anyone, it was a great team effort. We always want this competition. The coach says that we should make more options available. This will put us in a great position."
Ottis Gibson, the coach, had expressed disappointment in the replacement players in the lead-up to this match, saying that they had failed to grab the opportunities in the absence of the injured first-choice men and that was the reason West Indies found themselves 2-1 down after winning the first game of the series.
Apart from his hundred, Bravo also had a good outing with the ball. Ravi Rampaul, who had missed the previous game with a finger injury, was left out in this game to beef up the batting, Bravo said. As a result he opened the bowling with Jason Holder.
"It was a decision by the management team. Unfortunately Rampaul missed out in order to strengthen the batting, we wanted to make sure we had a strong batting unit. Then [Andre] Russell just came up and said I should take the new ball."
Brendon McCullum, the New Zealand captain, said the result was a "step backwards" for his team. "The West Indies boys came out today and put on a splendid performance. Maybe we should have batted first? We are comfortable to bowl first, but 360 is a mammoth total [to chase].
"We are going alright as a one-day unit, but today was a step backwards. We have a huge series coming up against India. We had put in some good performances in this series. We are getting there as a one-day unit, and we are seeing an emergence of new talent. Anderson in Queenstown was sublime, and then the bowlers have chipped in as well."
The two teams will now face-off in a two-match Twenty20 series, beginning on January 11 in Auckland.