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January 7, 2009
"Terrible" was how Chris Gayle, the West Indies captain, summed up his team's batting effort in the third ODI at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington. Put in by New Zealand, West Indies were dismissed for 128, a score the home side comfortably chased down to level the five-match series 1-1.
"I'm very disappointed with the batters," Gayle said. "We had the opportunity to go out there and put some runs on the board but instead we played terrible cricket.
"The batting conditions weren't difficult. There were no demons in the wicket," he said. "It was a good batting wicket. Early on it was a bit two-paced and there was a bit of uneven bounce but when you get in on a wicket like that then you'll get runs. We didn't capitalise on that."
The tourists struggled against Daniel Vettori, who took 4 for 20, and Gayle said the batsmen should be familiar with him by now. "Most of the guys here have been in the Test series and have seen Vettori over and over," he said. "I'm sure they can make some adjustment.
"He has been playing for years. We've seen him in the Test matches and in the last couple of one-dayers so there's no excuse for batters saying Vettori is giving them problems. It's time to come up with some formula and game-plan."
Vettori was pleased with his side's performance, but was a bit surprised Gayle did not acknowledge that the pitch did have assistance for the bowlers. "It's big of him to say that it wasn't the wicket, and it probably wasn't," Vettori said. "But I still think that there was enough in there to help the bowlers and that was the reason why we won the game.
"Starting from Kyle Mills, who I thought was outstanding again and has been great throughout the series, the way he bowled probably set the game up.
"Every part of the fielding was done exceptionally well," he said. "There was a little bit of a scare with those wickets being lost early [in our innings] but Ross Taylor played one of the best innings I've seen him play for New Zealand." Taylor made an unbeaten 51 off 50 balls, and his unbroken stand of 89 with Daniel Flynn sealed a seven-wicket win. "He played all around the park and looked calm and collected and saw us through to the end."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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