Black Caps beat Windies in opening ODI
New Zealand continued where they left off in the opening one-day international against West Indies, winning by five wickets on Wednesday.
Having already swept the Windies in the Test-match format, the Black Caps maintained their superiority with the white ball by chasing down the 248-run total with four overs remaining at Cobham Oval in Whangarei.
After New Zealand bowler Doug Bracewell starred with 4-55 in his return to international cricket following a drink-driving offence, the result was never in doubt thanks to openers George Worker (57) and Colin Munro (49), and captain Kane Williamson (48), Tom Latham (17) and Henry Nicholls (17).
Ross Taylor finished unbeaten on 49, alongside Tom Astle (15 not out), after a wide ball robbed him of a half-century as the Kiwis reached 249-5.
A wide to finish and the BLACKCAPS claim a clinical 5-wicket win in the opening ODI v West Indies at Cobham Oval in Whangarei.-- BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) December 20, 2017
Taylor 49* & Astle 15* reaching 249 with 4 overs to spare.#NZvWI CARD | https://t.co/L5UPRvU6vk ... pic.twitter.com/S8RUNDOK2L
Windies skipper Jason Holder (2-52) and Ashley Nurse (2-55) made proceedings somewhat tricky for the Kiwis, while Kesrick Williams (1-18) also walked away with a wicket.
Earlier in the day, fifties from Evin Lewis (76) and Rovman Powell (59) helped the Windies recover from a slow start to post a respectable total with nine wickets lost in the first of three ODIs after being sent in to bat.
Chris Gayle (22) struggled to make a significant impact as Bracewell troubled the big-hitting star opener and the Windies midweek.
Following a cautious opening between Gayle and Lewis, the pair eventually built a 40-run stand before the former fell victim to Bracewell with his first delivery - caught behind.
Shai Hope (0) followed Gayle back to the pavilion two balls later and the Windies were 41-2.
Shimron Hetmyer (29) and Lewis steadied the ship, helping West Indies pass the 100-run mark until the former became ODI debutant Astle's (3-33) first wicket in the 24th over.
The Windies' middle order failed to fire - Jason Mohammed (9) and captain Holder (8) dismissed by Ferguson (2-49) and Bracewell respectively as the tourists went from 103-2 to 134-5.
A 43-run partnership between Lewis and Powell stabilised the Windies until Astle made the breakthrough in the 36th over.
Lewis was trapped lbw after misreading a delivery from Astle, though replays showed the ball would have missed the stumps but West Indies were out of reviews.
Some late hitting by Rovman Powell (49) gets the Windies up to 248.-- BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) December 20, 2017
Earlier Todd Astle (3-33) claimed the best figures by a NZer on ODI debut, while Doug Bracewell took a career-best 4-55 #NZvWI
CARD | https://t.co/L5UPRvCv6Kpic.twitter.com/PudacVgs1G
Powell kept the scoreboard ticking over, teaming up with Williams (16 not out) to ensure the Windies saw out their allotted 50 overs after Nurse (2) and Ronsford Beaton (3) made little impacts.