NORTH SOUND, Antigua – Off-spinner Karishma Ramharack triggered a late collapse but New Zealand Women held their nerve to come away with a two-wicket win in the second One-Day International yesterday and an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
In pursuit of a modest 170 for victory at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground, the visitors appeared to be cantering to their target at 164 for four in the 37th over.
However, leg-spinner Afy Fletcher knocked over top-scorer Maddy Green for 48, triggering a slide which saw four wickets tumble for three runs in 17 balls.
The 27-year-old Ramharack snatched three for 22 – the last three wickets – before New Zealand Women managed to stumble home at the start of the 41st over.
Earlier, West Indies Women struggled to 169 for nine off their 50 overs after choosing to bat first, captain Hayley Matthews top-scoring with a patient 46 from 82 balls and the in-form Chinelle Henry chipping in with a breezy 30 from 35 balls.
The hosts endured the worst possible start when Rashada Williams (13), Natasha McLean (4) and Shabika Gajnabi (7) fell cheaply, as the innings slumped to 29 for three in the 11th over.
Matthews tried to patch up the innings, posting 38 for the fourth wicket with former skipper Stafanie Taylor (10) and a further 47 for the sixth wicket with Henry who lashed five fours.
However, off-spinner Eden Carson (3-31) hit Matthews in front and then picked up another two wickets as West Indies Women slipped to 129 for seven at the end of the 39th over, before Fletcher (19) and Shakera Selman (18) put on a precious 36 for the eighth wicket.
Selman then returned with the ball to make two crucial strikes as New Zealand Women stumbled out the blocks to be 51 for three at the end of the tenth over.
But the 29-year-old Green won it for the visitors, facing 78 balls while adding 66 for the fourth wicket with Lauren Down (33) and another 47 for the fifth wicket with Brooke Halliday (24).
WEST INDIES WOMEN 169 for nine off 50 overs (Hayley Matthews 46, Chinelle Henry 30; Eden Carson 3-31) vs NEW ZEALAND WOMEN 171 for eight off 40.1 overs (Maddy Green 48, Lauren Down 33, Brooke Halliday 24; Karishma Ramharack 3-22).
New Zealand Women won by two wickets.