BASSETERRE, St Kitts (CMC) — Mystery off-spinner Sunil Narine weaved a web around New Zealand to once again deceive their batsmen as West Indies kept up the pressure to win the final One-Day International here by 20 runs yesterday.
The right-armer, voted Man-of-the-Match and Man-of-the-Series, finished with five for 27 from his 10 overs as New Zealand, chasing 242 for victory, were dismissed for 221 off the last ball of the innings at Warner Park.
With the win, West Indies finished the series with a 4-1 verdict and with precious momentum and confidence heading into the Test series, starting in nine days time.
Batting first after winning the toss, West Indies rallied to reach their 241 for nine thanks to another exciting cameo from Andre Russell who struck an unbeaten 59 to bolster the lower order.
West Indies had slumped to 180 for eight in the 44th over before Russell fashioned a stroke-filled 59 from 40 balls to add momentum to the innings.
The right-hander smashed six fours and three sixes — two of which came in the 46th over off pacer Andrew Ellis and cleared mid-wicket and square leg with ease.
Dwayne Bravo added a patient 53 while Marlon Samuels stroked 43 but Tim Southee (3-37) and Kyle Mills (3-40) took three wickets apiece to put New Zealand on top early in the contest.
Opener Chris Gayle (5) failed for the third straight innings when he cut Mills hard to Rob Nicol at point at 23 for one in the fifth over.
His partner Johnson Charles followed in the seventh over, jabbing Southee to Nicol at point for 15 and eight balls later, Dwayne Smith was palpably lbw for nine at 37 for three.
Samuels and Bravo then repaired the innings with a cautious 60-run, fourth wicket partnership off 101 balls.
While Samuels hit four fours and a six off 59 balls, Bravo counted three fours and a six off 93 balls.
The stand was broken when Samuels was brilliantly taken by Martin Guptill diving low to his left at cover off Southee and in the next over, Kieron Pollard dragged a short ball from part-time off-spinner to Guptill at short mid-wicket to depart for seven.
Bravo put on 53 for the sixth wicket with gloveman Devon Thomas who scored 20 before holing out to square leg off Ellis at 157 for six in the 38th over.
Wickets then tumbled regularly but Russell's clean hitting gave the Windies a total at which to bowl.
The Black Caps then lost opener Nicol cheaply when he flicked the second ball of the innings from fast bowler Tino Best to Bravo at square leg with the score on two.
Opener Martin Guptill and Brendon McCullum both stroked 33 in a 62-run, second wicket stand to repair the damage, before Narine prised out both to send the visitors tumbling to 77 for three in the 18th over.
Captain Ross Taylor stroked 28 but was one of three wickets to fall in quick time as the Kiwis slumped to 140 for six.
Kane Williamson then produced a responsible 69 from 84 balls with five fours and a six, in a 68-run, seventh wicket partnership with Ellis who got 28.
Narine's return for his final spell saw Williamson depart to a superb one-handed catch by Gayle at mid-wicket at 208 for seven in the 46th over and the resistance was over four runs later when Ellis was bowled by Narine.
J Charles c Nicol b Southee 15
C Gayle c Nicol b Mills 5
D Smith lbw b Southee 9
M Samuels c Guptill b Southee 43
D Bravo c McCullum b Ellis 53
K Pollard c Guptill b Williamson 7
D Thomas c Southee b Ellis 20
D Sammy c Latham b Mills 2
A Russell not out 59
S Narine c McCullum b Mills 6
T Best not out 5
Extras: lb8 w9 17
Total 9 wkts (50 overs) 241
Fall of wickets: 1-23, 2-32, 3-37, 4-97, 5-104, 6-157, 7-160, 8-180, 9-216
Bowling figures: Mills 10-1-40-3, Boult 8-0-29-0, Southee 10-1-37-3, Ellis 10-1-54-2, Nicol 5-0-27-0, Flynn 2-0-10-0, Williamson 5-0-36-1
R Nicol c Bravo b Best 2
M Guptill lbw b Narine 33
B McCullum c Sammy b Narine 33
L Taylor st Thomas b Samuels 28
K Williamson c Gayle b Narine 69
D Flynn c Sammy b Best 0
T Latham c Thomas b Bravo 11
A Ellis b Narine 28
K Mills b Narine 1
T Southee not out 4
T Boult c Pollard b Bravo 5
Extras: lb2 w5 7
Total: (50 overs) 221
Fall: 1-2, 2-64, 3-77, 4-108, 5-109, 6-140, 7-208, 8-212, 9-213
Bowling figures: Best 10-0-58-2, Russell 4-1-25-0, Sammy 10-0-30-0, Narine 10-1-27-5, Samuels 10-0-49-1, Bravo 6-0-30-2
Result: West Indies won by 20 runs — win series 4-1
Toss: West Indies
Man of the match: S Narine
Man of the series: S Narine
Umpires: R Kettleborough (ENG) and J Wilson (WIS)
TV umpire: R Illingworth (ENG)
Match referee: A Pycroft (ZIM)