CHRISTCHURCH // A superb bowling effort and a fine rearguard action by Ramnaresh Sarwan and Denesh Ramdin helped the West Indies secure a tense five-wicket win via the Duckworth-Lewis method in their rain-affected second one-day international against New Zealand. With the match reduced to 28 overs per side, the Windies were set a target of 158 after they kept the Black Caps to 152-8 in their innings. The West Indies were struggling at 110-5 in the 23rd over but a quickfire 28 from 18 deliveries by Ramdin and 67 off 65 from Sarwan saw the tourists win to go 1-0 up in the five-match series.
It was the final three overs which proved costly for the home side after they had done well to keep the tourists in check for most of their innings. Ramdin stepped up a gear and his boundary off Tim Southee in the 26th over gave West Indies a glimmer of hope before he dispatched Jeetan Patel for successive fours the next over to put his side within touching distance of victory. Once again Chris Gayle was key for the tourists. Not only did he win the toss and choose to insert New Zealand, his 47-run partnership with Sarwan also provided the early impetus for the West Indies victory.
But just when the tall left-hander was looking set for a big score, Black Caps counterpart Daniel Vettori struck and Gayle was bowled out for 36. Sarwan, who hit three fours on his way to a 55-ball fifty, was left to carry the innings but runs began drying up as Vettori, Jacob Oram and Patel turned the screws before it all fell apart at the end for New Zealand. Earlier, the opener Jesse Ryder top-scored for the hosts with a 43-ball 32 that was split by the rain delay and Grant Elliott added 30 off 27 balls to get New Zealand past the 150-run mark as wickets tumbled regularly once play resumed.
* PA Sport