Manchester: A stunning century from Carlos Brathwaite proved not to be enough as New Zealand secured an incredible five-run win over West Indies at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Sheldon Cottrell got West Indies off to a magnificent start with the ball, removing both Martin Guptill and Colin Munro for first-ball ducks in an eventful opening over. From there, Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor reigned in any attacking instincts to halt the momentum of West Indies – after the opening Powerplay, New Zealand were 30/2.
Williamson and Taylor then began to reap the rewards of their patience and accelerated their way to an immensely productive partnership of 160 from 28.5 overs before Taylor chipped to Jason Holder at mid-on off the bowling of Chris Gayle to depart for 69. Williamson remained steady as ever and went on to record his second consecutive hundred, following on from his knock against South Africa on Wednesday.
The Kiwi skipper eventually fell for 148, amassing over half of his side’s final total of 291. Cottrell was West Indies’ leading man, finishing with figures of 4/56.
With Evin Lewis suffering an injury to his hamstring, Shai Hope joined Chris Gayle at the crease to begin the chase, but the right-hander perished early to Trent Boult, and Nicholas Pooran followed him back to the sheds not long after. Gayle took a liking to Matt Henry’s bowling and his partnership with Shimron Hetmyer – featuring some monstrous sixes – saw West Indies take control of the match.
The game then swung back in the Black Caps’ favour as Lockie Ferguson interrupted with the removal of Hetmyer with an incredible slower ball that initiated a collapse of five wickets for 22 runs.
Brathwaite then emerged to give the game a whole new dimension, recording key partnerships with both Kemar Roach and Sheldon Cottrell. Nonetheless, with West Indies nine down and requiring 42 from the last five overs, the game seemed beyond the batting side. The powerful right-hander then emerged to strike blow after blow, going to a maiden ODI hundred.
With six needed to win, Brathwaite looked set to finish the game with another maximum, but a well-taken catch on the boundary from Trent Boult concluded an incredible match, one that saw to Windies heartbreak.