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Windies avoid Kiwi whitewash

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March 04, 2006 17:22 IST


The West Indies beat New Zealand by three wickets in a nail-biting fifth and final one-day international at Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday to avoid the humiliation of a series whitewash.

The tourists reached their target of 234 with just two balls to spare with Wavell Hinds steering them to victory with an unbeaten 40 off 41 balls.

West Indies captain Shivnarine Chanderpaul top-scored with 41 while all rounder Dwayne Bravo and wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin both chipped in with identical scores of 38 after New Zealand had been bowled out for 233.

Scott Styris made 90 to rescue the home team from an early batting collapse, before seam bowler Dwayne Smith captured career-best figures of 5-45 to put the West Indies on course for their first win of the series.

"We're disappointed not to win 5-0 because it would have been quite an achievement, but 4-1 is pretty good," New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming told NZPA.

"If you told me you could win 4-1 at the start of a series I would take that pretty readily. The fact we denied them for four games was good."

Fleming said New Zealand had fallen about 20 runs short of what they thought they needed but were still happy with their final total after a terrible start.

They crashed to 96-4 in the 23rd over before Styris rebuilt the innings with a patient and careful display.

He survived a let-off on 30 when he was dropped by Chris Gayle before going on to post his 14th half-century.


He was eventually dismissed in the penultimate over when he hit a return catch to Smith after facing 119 balls and hitting four boundaries.

Smith had only taken 15 wickets in total from his 34 previous ODIs but dismissed Fleming, Hamish Marshall (19), Brendon McCullum (10), James Franklin (7) and then Styris to complete his first five-wicket haul at international level.

The West Indies began their reply at a pedestrian pace, scoring just 10 runs off the first 10 overs.

Gayle managed just two from 22 deliveries while his fellow opener Daren Ganga made 34 off 60.

The required run-rate had escalated to six an over after just 20 overs and was still in excess of eight with only six overs remaining before some lusty, late hitting from Hinds and Ramdin got the visitors home.

"They kept wickets in hand which on a small ground is going to give them an advantage chasing a small total," Fleming said.

"We thought we had caught up with the runs we had lost... but the longer they were hanging in there with wickets the more trouble we were in."

With the limited-overs matches now over, the teams will now turn their attention to the three-Test series starting at Eden Park on Thursday.

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