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At Napier, January 13, 2009. New Zealand won by nine runs (D/L method). Toss: New Zealand.
Three factors remained constant to the last ball of the tour: the closeness of the teams; West Indies' heavy reliance on Gayle and Chanderpaul; and the influence of the weather. After a day of pleasant sunshine, rain swept in from the Pacific just when the outcome was in the balance. It was already falling lightly, with West Indies three runs to the good on the Duckworth/Lewis formula, when Gayle handed the greasy ball to Baker for the 34th over. Elliott took three from his second ball after a leg-bye, Taylor hit fours from the next two and, by the end of an over that cost 15, New Zealand were ahead - and remained there when play ended for good an over later. On the ground where they had both scored hundreds in the Second Test, Gayle and Chanderpaul signed off with a sublime partnership of 170 in 26 overs, accelerating with 57 off the five batting powerplay overs.
Gayle's 19th one-day international century - equalling Brian Lara's West Indian record - included five sixes, one of which ended up in the back garden of a nearby house. Chanderpaul, whose first 26 runs were all singles, was six short of his own hundred when he was caught off a reverse sweep, a new and unlikely addition to his range. New Zealand were quick out of the blocks: McCullum, Ryder and Guptill plundered 91 off nine overs from Edwards and Powell. They were slowed by Baker and Pollard, and when Flynn and Broom fell to successive balls in Powell's second spell, West Indies had regained the initiative. However, Taylor, Elliott and the weather snatched it back for New Zealand, who took the series 2-1.
Man of the Match: C. H. Gayle.