Tim Southee and Trent Boult combined to demolish the West Indies top-order batting as New Zealand scored a series-levelling victory in the second One-Day International of a three-match series at Kensington Oval in Barbados on Friday.
After Finn Allen's 96 anchored the Black Caps to 212 off 48.2 overs batting first on another challenging pitch, Southee and Bolt claimed three wickets apiece as the home side limped to 63 for seven off 22.4 overs when a second heavy shower resulted in a prolonged delay to the day/night fixture.
Set a revised target of 212 off 41 overs on the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern scoring method, Yannic Cariah's 52 in his debut ODI innings and a swashbuckling 49 off 31 balls by Alzarri Joseph gave the tourists a fright in a frenetic 85-run ninth-wicket partnership.
However, Southee was summoned by stand-in captain Tom Latham and he responded immediately by bowling Joseph while Allen completed an excellent boundary catch to end Cariah's effort as the West Indies were eventually dismissed for 161 off 35.3 overs to lose by 50 runs and set the stage for the series decider on Sunday.
Southee's final figures were four for 19 while Boult’s six-over spell at the start of the innings earned him three for 18.
Earlier, opening batsman Allen's effort off 117 balls with seven fours and three sixes was one of just four double-figure innings as the Black Caps, beaten in the first match by five wickets at the same venue two days earlier, were again found wanting against the home side’s combination of spin and pace.
"I've always known I've got the grit in me but I never showed it. Showing now that I can do it is good,” said Allen on receiving the 'Man of the Match' award.
"The wickets haven't been batting-friendly but I have enjoyed the challenge.”
In just his second ODI, off-spinner Kevin Sinclair claimed four for 41, including the last three wickets, terminating a last-wicket stand of 31 between Mitchell Santner and Boult with a catch off his own bowling to dismiss Boult.
Former captain Jason Holder set the tone for the innings with an excellent opening spell, the fast-medium bowler snaring two early wickets and then returning to end Allen’s quest for the hundred in finishing with three for 24 off nine overs.
"It's disappointing to lose so many wickets in the powerplay," said West Indies captain Nicholas Pooran in reflecting on the opening period of his team's reply when they slumped to 27 for six. Just one good partnership in the top order might have been enough to see us home."