New Zealand won a rain-affected fourth ODI by 58 runs to take a 2-1 lead over the West Indies in their five-match series. The game in Nelson was decided under the Duckworth-Lewis method after wet weather set in with the West Indies apparently heading for their second consecutive defeat.
A timely return to form for opener Martin Guptill,who made 81,saw New Zealand make 285/6 in 50 overs and the West Indies were 134/5 after 33.4 overs when the rain sent the players off from the field. Guptill opened with a determination to occupy the crease as long as possible after struggling against the visitors in his two previous innings with scores of two and one.
He crawled to eight off 40 deliveries before cracking his first boundary when he drove a full-length Dwayne Bravo delivery back over the bowlers head. From there,man-of-the-match Guptill never looked back as he batted at nearly a run a ball for the remainder of his innings,which included four fours and two sixes.
Jesse Ryder,fresh from cracking the worlds sixth-fastest ODI century in New Zealands rollicking 159-run victory in the third one dayer on Wednesday,survived two scares to score the bulk of the early runs. After being dropped by Denesh Ramdin on 12 and Bravo at first slip shortly afterwards,both comfortable chances off Jason Holder,Ryder raced to 47 in 49 balls before Ramdin held a catch off Bravo.
Kane Williamson was also dismissed for 47 and Ross Taylor added 49 as New Zealand benefited from yet another injury in the West Indies camp. Frontline bowler Ravi Rampaul was ruled out with a broken finger,becoming the sixth injured first-choice ODI player in the West Indies squad.
With their bowling weakened,the West Indies needed their batsmen to compensate but were again let down. Chadwick Walton (0) was run out in the first over and Johnson Charles was also removed for a duck in the fourth over to leave the West Indies 2-2 and the writing was already on the wall.
Lendl Simmons and Kirk Edwards managed to put on 60 for the third wicket before another run out when Edwards gambled on out-running Brendon McCullums throw from short cover and lost by a wide margin. Simmons departed for 43,caught by Guptill at midwicket off Kane Williamson,as the rain was starting to fall. When play was eventually called off,Bravo was unbeaten on 43,with Ramdin on 17.
BRIEF SCORES: New Zealand 285/6 in 50 overs (M Guptill 81,R Taylor 49; D Bravo 2/35,S Narine 1/47) bt West Indies 134/5 in 33.4 overs (L Simmons 43,D Bravo 43*; N McCullum 1/30) by D/L system