West Indies gain consolation victory

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Brandon King and Shamarh Brooks shared a 102-run opening partnership as West Indies struck a winning formula at last, beating New Zealand by eight wickets in the third T20I on Sunday to prevent a sweep of the three-match series.

After making the bold decision to rest captain Nicholas Pooran, the hosts also played more than one spinner for the first time in the series and their bowlers flourished on a slow pitch at Sabina Park.

New Zealand made only 145 for 7 after winning the toss, falling well short of its 185 for 5 in the first match and 215 for 5 in the second.

West Indies reached their target with an over to spare, as stand-in captain Rovman Powell hit Jimmy Neesham for six to clinch the win and leave the series 2-1 in New Zealand’s favor.

Left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein, playing for the first time in the series, took 2 for 28, while allrounder Odean Smith took a career-best 3 for 29.

King, who missed the first two matches of the series with injury, provided impetus for the run chase by taking 53 runs from 35 balls. Brooks carried his bat throughout the innings, finishing on 56, while Powell hurried the end by striking 27 from 15 balls.

“Today credit has to be given to the bowlers. They did an excellent job for us and made my job that much easier,” said King.

On Sunday, Hosein came on in only the third over and immediately knocked over Martin Guptill to leave New Zealand 18 for 1. Devon Conway, Mitchell Santner and Williamson all made starts but struggled to impart momentum to the innings. That task fell again to Phillips who made 41 from 26 balls and was Player of the Series.

Phillips needed to bat through but was out at a critical stage when New Zealand was 125 for 5 in the 17th over. New Zealand managed only 39 in the last five overs.

The opening partnership between King and Brooks made the result a foregone conclusion. King reached his half century from 30 balls and Brooks hung around to anchor the innings, posting his 50 from 52 deliveries.

“The West Indies adapted to the conditions nicely,” Williamson said. “They bowled and batted well. They outplayed us today.”

The teams meet in the first of three ODIs on Wednesday.

Brief scores:

New Zealand: 145/7 (Phillips 41, Smith 3-29)

West Indies: 150/2 (Brooks 56*, King 53)