Napier:New Zealand beat the West Indies by five wickets on a Duckworth-Lewis calculation in the rain-shortened fifth and final limited overs cricket international Tuesday to win the five-match series 2-1.
New Zealand was 211-5 in the 35th over in reply to the West Indies' 293-nine, when steady drizzle began to fall at McLean Park, following the trend of a series in which two matches were been abandoned and another shortened by rain.
Under Duckworth-Lewis calculations, New Zealand needed to be 203-5 at that point to take the match and series.
The rain first began to fall after 33 overs when New Zealand was narrowly behind the West Indies on Duckworth-Lewis calculations. New Zealand needed to score nine runs without losing a wicket from the 34th over to move ahead of the West Indies and batsmen Ross Taylor and Grant Elliot scored 15 to give the home side a slim advantage.
The batsmen then played out the 35th over, preserving the lead, before rain intensified and forced players from the field. New Zealand was then eight runs ahead of the West Indies under the Duckworth-Lewis system, clinching the match and series when no further play was possible.
Taylor was left 48 not out with Elliot on 14.
New Zealand had earlier built a solid start to its run chase thanks to a 59-run opening partnership between Jesse Ryder and Brendon McCullum, brought up from only 5.3 overs.
Ryder made 21 from 23 balls and McCullum 41 from 28 balls with six fours and a six. McCullum and Ryder smashed 31 runs from the first 14 balls bowled by Daren Powell, including 23 from his opening over.
With that start, the home side needed only to bat conservatively to win if rain intervened. Martin Guptill made 43 to follow his unbeaten 122 in the fourth match at Auckland and Taylor had the composure to secure the win ahead of the rain.
Earlier, Chris Gayle equaled Brian Lara's record of 19 centuries in limited-overs matches when he scored 135 from 129 balls in a man-of-the-match performance.
The West Indies captain also passed 7,000 limited-overs runs, smashing his way to a century from 110 balls and to 135 with nine fours and five sixes.
"It would be nice to go home with a win," Gayle said. "We were beaten in the series but my gut feeling says we're winners."
Gayle shared a 72-run partnership for the second wicket with Ramnaresh Sarwan (22), then ensured the West Indies built a competitive total in a 26-over stand with Shivnarine Chanderpaul which added 170 for the third wicket.
Chanderpaul scored 94 from 91 balls with nine fours and a reverse sweep six, at first in stalwart support of his captain then in a leading role when Gayle was out with the total at 243.
While Gayle and Chanderpaul were together, a total well in excess of 300 seemed possible, but after Chanderpaul was out with the total at 279, four wickets fell for only 14 runs.
"Myself and Chanderpaul built up some momentum, but we didn't capitalize on it and I'm not happy with the bowling performance," Gayle said.