BASSETERRE: West Indies off-spinner Sunil Narine may not command the headlines like Chris Gayle, but he proved to be just as deadly a force in the one-day series win over New Zealand.
Narine took two wickets for just 20 off his full quota of 10 overs on Saturday as the West Indies won the fourth ODI by 24 runs to guarantee an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match series.
His heroics with the ball earned him the man-of-the-match award as he combined with Tino Best (4-46) to bowl out the visitors for 240.
Together they topped a superb century by New Zealand skipper Ross Taylor, who made 110 on his return from injury.
“I was doing it for the team,” said the softly-spoken Narine.
“It was the big game of the series and I knew I just had to do the job for the team again. We wanted to win on Wednesday and seal the series, but we ended on the wrong end, so it was very important that we rebounded today and finish off the job.
“Normally, when I go onto the field I look at the scoreboard and see what is required of me. Sometimes it requires me to be attacking, other times I just have to keep the pressure on. Today, I tried to keep my composure and build the pressure. We got wickets at key stages and the pressure mounted on them.
“There was a great deal of effort today. We had to dig deep to come up with this win, and that made it feel that much better. To win a series at home is special.
“The batsmen played really well after we found ourselves in some trouble and that gave us something to bowl at. Tino kept running in and I knew my job was to remain accurate and build the pressure on the batsmen.”
Narine came into the attack in the first power-play and his first spell went for just seven runs as the West Indies took control.
His first wicket was Kane Williamson, who bowed to the mounting pressure and was leg-before swinging across the line.
Late in the innings, Narine returned and forced Doug Bracewell into a desperate big hit which found the safe hands of Keiron Pollard at long off.
So far in the series, which concludes in St Kitts on Monday, Narine has captured eight wickets in four matches at an average of 14.87 runs per wicket, and an economy rate of just 2.97 runs per over.