New Zealand has held off a late batting onslaught from Carlos Brathwaite to beat the West Indies by five runs and move atop the standings.
Brathwaite blazed 101 from 82 balls as the last three West Indies wickets combined for 122 runs and got within one shot of a spectacular comeback victory.He went for broke, trying to hit the last ball of the 49th over from Jimmy Neesham for six and was caught on the long-on boundary by Trent Boult.
Skipper Kane Williamson’s 148 and 160-run partnership with Ross Taylor helped New Zealand rally to 291-8 after losing both openers for first-ball ducks in the first over.
New Zealand appeared to have the game in hand when Boult took four wickets and a vital catch to remove Chris Gayle for 87 to have the West Indies reeling at 164-7 in the 27th over.
Brathwaite’s cameo contained five sixes and nine boundaries and took the match to the wire, sinking to his knees when he saw Boult hold the catch in the deep.
The New Zealanders, the 2015 runners-up, have 11 points from five wins and a washout against India and are one point ahead of defending champion Australia, two ahead of No. 2-ranked India, and three clear of top-ranked England.
The West Indies still have a mathematical chance of reaching the semifinals, but next face India.