Kingston (Jamaica), Jul 6: Chris Gayle struck his third successive half century against New Zealand as West Indies cruised to a nine-wicket victory in the rain-curtailed opening One Day International here on Thursday.
[Scorecard: WI vs NZ; First ODI]
Chasing a revised target of 136 from 33 overs, West Indies won comfortably, in 24.2 overs. Gayle hit an unbeaten 63 while Dwayne Smith topscored with 65 not out.
Gayle had also scored two fifties in the preceding two-match Twenty20 series in Florida.
The explosive left-handed opener delighted his home fans in Jamaica with five sixes and four fours. He faced 57 balls for his knock of 63. This was Gayle's first international match at home for three years.
Smith had three sixes and six fours to his name in his 77-ball 65 not out.
West Indies had a bad start when Lendl Simmons was dismissed for a duck in the third over. The hosts were 6/1 in 3 overs. However, that was the only success New Zealand bowlers had.
Gayle and Smith had a 130-run (off 128 balls) unbroken partnership for the second wicket to give victory in the five-match series.
Rain had stopped play when West Indies were 93/1 in 18 overs. Then the target was revised to 136 off 33 overs.
Earlier, Andre Russell took four wickets for 45 runs in 10 overs as West Indies restricted New Zealand to 190/9 in 50 overs. BJ Watling was the topscorer for the visitors with 60.
Legspinner Sunil Narine too was impressive with figures of 2/26 in 10 overs including two maidens. Ravi Rampaul also had two wickets for 42 runs.