Cricket: Bravo, as Windies mug NZ

By David Leggat

Captain labels Black Caps' second heaviest ODI defeat as terrible performance

West Indies batsman Dwayne Bravo celebrates his second international ODI century. Photo / Christine Cornege
West Indies batsman Dwayne Bravo celebrates his second international ODI century. Photo / Christine Cornege

No one saw this coming - the result maybe, certainly not the scale of it.

Just when New Zealand seemed set to wrap up the ODI series to follow the test rubber, the West Indies mugged them at Seddon Park yesterday.

They piled on their highest ODI score, 363 for four, then rolled New Zealand for 160 in just 29.5 overs, to square the five-game series 2-2. What's more, the defending world T20 champions will now go into the two-game contest in the shortest form feeling rather good.

The result was New Zealand's second heaviest ODI defeat, after a 215-run drubbing by Australia in the 2007 World Cup at Grenada and was every bit as bad as it looks on paper.

"That was a terrible performance," captain Brendon McCullum said.

"Our bowling was very poor, our fielding wasn't great and when you're chasing a score like that you need a lot to go your way."

The less said about New Zealand's chase the better. They were trying to run up a mountain in sneakers, the West Indies by that stage were full of bounce and from 65 for five there was no way back.

It's been a depressing tour in several respects for the West Indies, well beaten in the tests and seemingly on the way out of the ODI series after being on the wrong end of the two rain-affected games in the South Island. However they found loads of character to display their best expansive batting qualities after being sent in.

Kieran Powell, the 23-year-old from Nevis, had had an ordinary tour until yesterday. But it was his dazzling display from the start which gave the West Indies the ideal platform. The lefthander made a mess of Tim Southee and Mitchell McClenaghan's first, brief spells and the opening stand with Johnson Charles produced 95 in 12 overs.

Once Kirk Edwards found his range and the ebullient Dwayne Bravo got going, the ground simply wasn't big enough, nor the bowling consistent or accurate enough. Edwards had his slices of luck - notably inside edging a four to reach his maiden ODI hundred - but this was his day. He struck the ball lustily, while man of the match Bravo was outstanding in his second ODI ton.

From overs 41-45, the pair clobbered 75. It rained boundaries and New Zealand had no one sufficiently parsimonious to apply the brakes. Even the usually reliable Kyle Mills' last three overs went for 39.

At times Bravo toyed with the bowling - which was guilty of contributing 11 wides - as the pair put on 211, the alltime best stand against New Zealand. His hitting was invariably clean and he mixed the brutal with the deft, while Edwards piled on his second 50 runs in only 28 balls.

"History shows we are a team who play better under pressure, with our backs against the wall," Bravo said last night.

"We are going to enjoy this win. We ticked a lot of boxes today."

The first of two T20 to round off the tour is at Eden Park on Saturday.

- NZ Herald

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