West Indies hold nerve for Auckland win

New Zealand

Captain Dwayne Bravo and former skipper Darren Sammy ensured a tight two-wicket triumph over New Zealand in Thursday's first ODI at Eden Park in Auckland.

Captain Dwayne Bravo and former skipper Darren Sammy ensured a tight two-wicket triumph over New Zealand in Thursday's first ODI at Eden Park in Auckland.

Outdone in the recent Test series against the same opposition, the tourists enjoyed a prompt turnaround to take a vital lead in the five-match affair. What Bravo started, Sammy completed, but not without a slew of nervy patches.

New Zealand's innings was weak, with captain Brendon McCullum's commanding 51 the top score. The tally, in fact, would have read considerably poorer – were it not for all-rounder Nathan McCullum's fighting cameo. All-rounder Bravo, meanwhile, cherished four key wickets – while the returning Jesse Ryder endured a duck.

He added 44 runs for the final wicket alongside tail-ender Mitchell McClenaghan. The rearguard alliance almost proved the difference in a seesaw contest, but the Windies ultimately held their nerve.

The reply endured an awful start, as openers Johnson Charles and Kieran Powell fell in single figures. A batting order minus the services of the injured Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels struggled throughout, before Sammy sealed the deal with a belligerent vigil.

A stuttering 60 for five gradually recovered to 121 for seven, after which 157 for eight spelled victory with all of 135 deliveries to spare. The Kiwis, indeed, were left to lament a close call – which would might have been turned – had Ryder not dropped a straightforward chance in the slip cordon. Far too many extras, too, marred the home side.

Fast bowler McClenaghan's career-best figures of five for 58 were rendered vain, as the right-handed Sammy swatted the host attack to all corners, amassing a cavalier 43 not out from just 27 balls – including five fours and a trio of handsome sixes.

The second ODI will get underway in Napier on Sunday. Queenstown, Nelson and Hamilton will host fixtures three, four and five respectively. Two Twenty20 Internationals will follow.

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