Easy Win For Kiwis In Wellington

New Zealand

New Zealand cruised to a comfortable seven wicket-win in the third one-day international against the West Indies today to level the series 1-1.

New Zealand cruised to a comfortable seven wicket-win in the third one-day international against the West Indies today to level the series 1-1.

Set a target of 129 runs to win, the hosts did so inside just 20.3 overs for the loss of three wickets.

Daren Powell got all three top order batsmen Brendon McCullum, Jesse Ryder and Jamie How – in a devastating burst of three for 11 off 3.2 overs.

But an unbeaten half-century by Ross Taylor, who brought up his fifty with a six into the stands, and Daniel Flynn's 23 not out got the Black Caps home with 177 balls to spare.

The only dampener for the home side was seeing Jacob Oram, who has been struggling with an Achilles injury, leave the field after bowling only two overs as first change bowler.

The win was built on the back of a sterling bowling effort by New Zealand. Once again captain Daniel Vettori led the way with four wickets for the cost of just 20 runs off his 10 overs.

Kyle Mills and Tim Southee chipped in with two wickets apiece, while Jesse Ryder, who got the big wicket of Shivnarine Chanderpaul, and Jeetan Patel each got one.

The Black Caps had the tourists on the ropes from the opening over when Mills had Xavier Marshall caught behind by Jamie How for nought.

The West Indies main run-scorers Chris Gayle (18) and Ramnaresh Sarwan (five) both went cheaply, leaving Shivnarine Chanderpaul, playing his first match following a hand injury, to shoulder the burden.

When he departed for 45 in the 34th over the West Indies were in real danger of posting their lowest total against New Zealand.

But tailenders Nikita Miller and Fidel Edwards 21-run stand for the final wicket ensured they got past that mark of 123 but only just.

Aside from Chanderpaul's 45, Miller's unbeaten 25 was the only other score of note as the West Indies slumped to 74 for eight in 29 overs before being all out for 128 in 41.4.

New Zealand's opening batsmen on the other hand looked to have got settled early until both fell to successive balls by Powell.

First McCullum (18) skied a catch to Sarwan at third man then Ryder (14) holed out to Miller to put New Zealand 34 for two midway through the sixth over.

How (duck) was Powell's third victim when he hooked a shot straight to Jerome Taylor at deep square leg and Daniel Flynn could have followed soon after for a duck had Kieron Pollard held onto a catch at cover.

Instead Flynn and Ross Taylor, who also came close to being caught without scoring, got New Zealand across the line with a well-crafted 89-run stand.

Earlier in the day, after winning the toss and opting to bowl, New Zealand were on top straight away.

Marshall lasted just three balls before he edged Mills to How in the slips in the opening over.

Southee's first over went for an expensive 13 runs but he made amends with the key wicket of Sarwan in the next one and when Gayle chopped onto his stumps off Mills in the last ball of the ninth over the West Indies were 35 for three with two of their main run-scorers out.

Chanderpaul and Shawn Findlay were left with the task of rebuilding the innings but their partnership barely got going before Findlay was on his way for eight after being clean-bowled by Southee.

The very next over Vettori had Denesh Ramdin, the hero in Christchurch, trapped leg before wicket for one, then added Pollard (one) to his list when he was given out to a dubious lbw decision to leave the West Indies reeling at 58 for six.

Chanderpaul however, kept plugging away but could find no-one to stick with him as Jerome Taylor (four) and Powell (one) fell apart against the spin of the New Zealand captain.

Vettori finished his 10 overs with four for 20, including three maidens, his second best figures against the West Indies.

Miller showed some resistance staying around long enough to help get his side past the 100-run mark.

But they had barely done that when Ryder was introduced to the bowling attack and struck with his first ball to trap Chanderpaul (45) lbw and deny him his 53rd half-century.

Millers cameo of 25 and Edwards ability to farm the strike meant they squeezed past their lowest score against New Zealand of 123 but not by much.