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Russell lifts WI to 241

Andre Russell hit unbeaten 59

Basseterre: West Indian Andre Russell’s unbeaten knock of 59 from 40 balls helped the hosts to a score of 241 for the loss of nine wickets in the fifth and final ODI here.

The fifth ODI between West Indies and New Zealand had several similarities to Saturday’s fourth ODI at Warner Park: West Indies chose to bat, the top order stumbled, one of their Twenty20 stars made the slowest ODI half-century of his career to anchor the innings, and then some pyrotechnics from Russell took the home side’s total towards 250.

New Zealand will still be satisfied halfway through the game, as they lined up with a wafer-thin bowling attack after dropping the specialist spinner Nathan McCullum and the experienced all-rounder Jacob Oram.

They have had wretched luck with injuries on this tour so far, and they were thankful that the latest casualty, fast bowler Trent Boult, sent down eight overs before picking up a thigh strain. The bowling was so inexperienced that Rob Nicol with ten wickets was the third-highest wicket-taker in the XI.

What helped New Zealand’s part-time trio of Nicol, Daniel Flynn and Kane Williamson to get through some low-pressure overs was the early spell of Tim Southee, who took two wickets for five runs in his first three overs.

Southee didn’t begin the series well, but has been impressive since his new-ball spell to Chris Gayle in the third ODI which was the first time Gayle failed in this series.

Johnson Charles’ audition for a long-term opening place flopped as he was done in by a delivery that bounced more than he expected, lobbing a catch to backward point.

(agencies)