Jamaica Gleaner / WHANGAREI, New Zealand, (CMC):
West Indies were left to chase their three-match series against New Zealand after unconvincing batting, coupled with a subdued bowling effort, left them with a five-wicket defeat in the opening One-Day International here yesterday.
Sent in at Cobham Oval, West Indies got contrasting half-centuries from opener Evin Lewis who top-scored with 76 off 100 deliveries and Rovman Powell, who struck 59 off 50 balls down the order.
Debutant 20-year-old Shimron Hetmyer (29) and Chris Gayle (22) got starts but failed to convert, leaving the Caribbean side well short of a competitive total at 248 for nine off their 50 overs.
Seamer Doug Bracewell shone on his return to the host side, picking up four for 55 while debutant leg-spinner Todd Astle claimed three for 33 and speedster Lockie Ferguson, two for 49.
With the pressure piled immediately on the Windies bowlers, they proved loose early on, allowing opener George Worker to post a career-best 57 while Ross Taylor stroked an unbeaten 49 and Colin Munro, 49.
Captain Kane Williamson chimed in with 38, as the Black Caps eased to victory with 24 balls remaining.
Skipper Jason Holder (2-52) and off-spinner Ashley Nurse (2-55) ended with two wickets apiece.
Lewis and Gayle had earlier handed the Windies a solid start, posting 40 for the first wicket before wickets tumbled in clusters.
The left-handed Gayle started slowly, but threatened to explode when he clobbered three fours and a giant six – the latter a clean blow down the ground off seamer Tim Southee.
But Gayle nibbled at one from Bracewell at the start of the 10th and was caught at the wicket and Shai Hope followed off the next legitimate delivery, given out caught behind off the inside edge, though subsequent DRS replays yielded little conclusive evidence of an edge.
Lewis, who posted his first ODI half-century off 77 balls in the 28th over, revived the innings as he paired with Powell to add a further 43 for the sixth wicket.
Seemingly cruising towards a third hundred, Lewis was the victim of a poor decision when he was adjudged lbw in the 36th over after missing a sweep at a googly from Astle, with replays showing the ball clearly missing off stump.
The second ODI will be played in Christchurch on Saturday.
C. Gayle c wkp Latham b Bracewell 22
E. Lewis lbw b Astle 76
S. Hope c wkp Latham b Bracewell 0
S. Hetmyer c Ferguson b Astle 29
J. Mohammed b Ferguson 9
*J. Holder c Taylor b Bracewell 8
R. Powell c Williamson b Bracewell 59
A. Nurse lbw b Astle 2
R. Beaton c wkp Latham b Ferguson 3
K. Williams not out 16
S. Gabriel not out 0
Extras (lb6, w18) 24
Total (9 wkts, 50 overs) 248
Fall of wickets: 1-40 (Gayle), 2-41 (Hope), 3-103 (Hetmyer), 4-117 (Mohammed), 5-134 (Holder), 6-177 (Lewis), 7-182 (Nurse), 8-201 (Beaton), 9-246 (Powell)
Bowling: Southee 10-2-49-0 (w3), Boult 10-2-48-0 (w4), Ferguson 10-0-49-2 (w3), Bracewell 8-0-55-4 (w1), Astle 10-1-33-3 (w1), Munro 2-0-8-0.
NEW ZEALAND (target: 249 runs)
G. Worker b Nurse 57
C. Munro c Nurse b Williams 49
*K. Williamson b Holder 38
R. Taylor not out 49
+T. Latham lbw b Nurse 17
H. Nicholls c wkp Hope b Holder 17
T. Astle not out 15
Extras (lb2, w5) 7
Total (5 wkts, 46 overs) 249
Fall of wickets: 1-108 (Munro), 2-118 (Worker), 3-175 (Williamson), 4-201 (Latham), 5-230 (Nicholls)
Did not bat: D Bracewell, T Southee, L Ferguson, T Boult.
Bowling: Gabriel 10-0-57-0 (w1), Beaton 9-1-42-0 (w2), Holder 9-1-52-2, Williams 5-0-18-1, Nurse 10-0-55-2 (w1), Mohammed 2-0-13-0, Powell 1-0-10-0 (w1)
Toss: New Zealand
Result: New Zealand won by five wickets.
Series: New Zealand lead three-match series 1-0
Man-of-the-Match: Doug Bracewel
Umpires: Chettithody Shamshuddin, Chris Brown; TV – Bruce Oxenford.