Dec 26 2013
West Indies got their one-day series with New Zealand off to a winning start thanks to a thrilling two-wicket success in a low-scoring clash in Auckland.
Darren Sammy was the hero for the tourists, with an unbeaten 43 making sure they got over the line in pursuit of 157.
New Zealand were skittled for just 156 when they were put in - the McCullum brothers contributing 98 of those runs - and the chase looked a routine one.
But Mitchell McClenaghan's five-wicket haul gave the Windies a real fright and in the end they scraped home with two wickets to spare.
A win is a win, though, and not something they have been accustomed to over recent weeks, having lost two and drawn one of their three Tests with the Black Caps.
It took Sammy to make it happen, with the all-rounder steadying a creaking ship ripped to bits by McClenaghan.
He cleaned up Kieran Powell for five and Johnson Charles for nine and then, when he snared out Darren Bravo for 14, they were reeling on 32 for three.
Respite followed but McClenaghan pinned Dwayne Bravo in front for 12, with Lendl Simmons following as he found the hands of Ross Taylor off Kyle Mills when on 34.
But with such a low total to chase progress had been made, meaning that when Mills castled Narsingh Deonarine, there was still a chance of turning 96 for six into a winning score.
Sammy took that chance and, even though Denesh Ramdin, tempted by McClenaghan (five for 58), and Jason Holder deserted him, he got the job done from 27 balls, deciding time was not his friend as he clubbed five fours and three sixes.
Earlier, the McCullums had kept it moderately competitive, with Nathan's 47 bettered only by captain Brendon's 51.
Dwayne Bravo finished with figures of four for 44, with two wickets apiece for Ravi Rampaul - the key scalps of openers Martin Guptill and Jesse Ryder - and Holder.
New Zealand's top four batsmen managed just 13 runs between them, Rampaul doing the early damage by dismissing Ryder and Guptill in his opening two overs.
Ryder, returning to international cricket after a 22-month absence, was caught at cover by Darren Bravo without having troubled the scorers, with Guptill (two) trapped lbw playing across the line.
They slumped to 10 for three in the seventh over when the in-form Ross Taylor (three) attempted a quick single and was caught well short by Holder.
Kane Williamson (eight) was next to go, his outside edge off the bowling of Holder snapped up by wicketkeeper Ramdin.
Dwayne Bravo then took centre stage with the ball. He snared the wicket of Corey Anderson (13) and then, after Sunil Narine had accounted for Luke Ronchi (seven), returned to see off James Neesham (10) and Brendon McCullum.
The 51-run knock from the skipper - who was dropped on 29 by Sammy at point - came off just 57 balls, included five fours and a six and also saw him pass 5,000 runs in ODIs.
Nathan McCullum continued to dig in following his brother's departure, particularly in a last-wicket stand with McClenaghan after Dwayne Bravo had had Kyle Mills (three) caught at first slip by Sammy.
The final partnership yielded 44 runs for the home team, but McCullum fell three runs short of his fifty when he was caught at backward square leg by Darren Bravo off the bowling of Holder.