New Zealand and West Indies play the last of their five-match ODI series on Wednesday with the West Indies needing to win if they hope to draw the series. New Zealand currently hold a 2-1 lead.
What: New Zealand vs West Indies, 5th ODI
Venue: Seddon Park, Hamilton
When: Wednesday, Jan. 8
Start time: 1 a.m. GMT/2 p.m. local
Live on: Sky Sport NZ
Weather: Accuweather suggests that, although early showers can be expected, it should clear enough throughout the day to get a game in.
Barring their efforts in the first match, there haven't been many positives for the West Indies in this series. Just one batsman has managed a fifty (Dwayne Bravo) and not a single bowler has managed to keep their economy rate below 5.00.
While there have been a few youngsters making their bow, the old guard have all been largely disappointing. Sunil Narine has taken just three wickets, Ravi Rampaul has taken two at an average of 45.50 and nobody aside from Dwayne Bravo averages more than 30.00.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, the Black Caps have thrived with two centuries and two fifties from their batsmen with three bowlers boasting an economy rate of below 4.00.
The final match sees New Zealand playing for a win to seal the series while the Windies can draw and salvage some pride.
Although the Windies have struggled with injuries, the visitors' coach, Ottis Gibson, has rued the way in which the replacements have responded. He was quoted by ESPNCricinfo as saying:
We're missing around six players now. Gayle, Pollard, [Darren] Bravo, Samuels, Sammy, Ravi [Rampaul], Roach...Basically, players are getting an opportunity that they wouldn't get if the above players were playing. And you have to say that these players are not taking the opportunities given to them.
It's been tough going for the men from the Caribbean and if the previous results are anything to go by, there's more of the same to come in the fifth and final ODI. While weather has interfered with play for much of the series, it all looks clear for the final game, giving New Zealand the ideal opportunity to build some more momentum before the T20 series kicks off.
Jesse Ryder returned from injury by scoring a hundred in his second game back. He followed it up with 47 in the next and will want to continue that form as a World Cup year looms in 2015 and a World T20 is on its way this year.
It's all up to Dwayne Bravo again. First-choice captain Darren Sammy still needs to undergo a scan to determine his fitness, but as it stands, Bravo will have to take charge and find a way to continue scoring some runs and taking wickets. He's the highest run-getter for the Windies, with 111 runs in three games, and he has also picked up six wickets. He needs to find a way to inspire his depleted troops and the best way to do that is to lead from the front.
New Zealand: Brendon McCullum (c), Corey Anderson, Martin Guptill, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, James Neesham, Luke Ronchi (wk), Jesse Ryder, Ross Taylor, Kane Williamson.
West Indies: Dwayne Bravo (c), Tino Best, Darren Bravo, Johnson Charles (wk), Narsingh Deonarine, Kirk Edwards, Jason Holder, Nikita Miller, Sunil Narine, Kieran Powell, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Ravi Rampaul, Darren Sammy, Lendl Simmons, Chadwick Walton.
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