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Bowl-off decides Twenty20 tie

A crowd of 27,831 witnessed the first ever bowl-off in Twenty20 international as the Black Caps beat the West Indies at Eden Park.

A crowd of 27,831 witnessed the first ever bowl-off in Twenty20 international as the Black Caps beat the West Indies after scores were tied at the end of regulation play.

In Chris Cairns's last ever international match, Shane Bond hit a final-ball boundary to send the game to a bowl-off, where he calmly knocked down the stumps twice to hand New Zealand victory and send Cairns out a winner.

Batting first the West Indies made 126-7 off their 20 overs before New Zealand finished on the same score for the loss of eight wickets.

The bowl-off saw five alternating bowlers from each side bowl two deliveries at a set of stumps, with the most successful team through 10 attempts winning the match.

New Zealand won the shootout 3-0.

The dangerous Chris Gayle smashed opening bowler James Franklin to the fence in each of the left-armer's opening two overs but he and opening partner Darren Ganga found the quicker Bond harder to get away.

Bond conceded just three runs off his first two overs and had Gayle picking out Nathan Astle at mid-on for 10 in the fourth over.

Neither Ganga nor Runako Morton could lift the run-rate up over four runs per over and eventually Morton missed a straight full-toss from Scott Styris and was adjudged leg before for four, which may have been a blessing in disguise for the West Indians given his slow scoring rate.

Dwayne Smith arrived to replace Morton and immediately got the scoring going, belting Styris to the fence before Ganga lifted him over square for six.

With father Lance Cairns in the stands watching, son Chris was given his first opportunity in the match when he replaced Franklin at the Sandringham Rd End. Ganga dropped his third delivery at his feet before taking off for a sharp single only for Cairns to pick-up, dive and throw the stumps down to dismiss Smith for eight.

Ganga clipped Styris away for two boundaries in the 10th over before trying his luck again and succeeding only in picking out Franklin at deep mid-wicket.

Wavell hinds did his part to accelerate the scoring, finding the fence off an unusually expensive Styris.

Wicket-keeper Brendon McCullum missed a stumping off the impressive Jeetan Patel's bowling but when the unorthodox Shivnarine Chanderpaul reverse-swept the off-spinner a couple of balls later, Hamish Marshall ran out Hinds backing up.

Chanderpaul, the West Indian skipper, and Dwayne Bravo pushed the total past the 100-mark in the 18th over, bowled by Cairns - his last in international cricket.

The Eden Park crowd and his beloved terraces rose to their feet and his fellow Black Caps ran in to each individually give the great all-rounder a hug.

Chanderpaul was caught on the mid-wicket fence by Marshall off Patel's next over and keeper-batsman Denesh Ramdin found Cairns on the long-off boundary in Bond's final over to leave the Windies 126-7 off their allotted 20 overs.

The run-chase started promisingly with Lou Vincent and Stephen Fleming finding the fence early on.

Fleming was dismissed for six however when he hit the ball straight down Deighton Butler's throat at mid-on off the bowling of Jerome Taylor.

Vincent put the foot down from that point, belting anyone who came within sight of him but Astle failed to get any time in the middle when he was caught by Chanderpaul off Taylor for five.

Cairns took a while to get off the mark, looking nervous before he was bowled by Bravo for two on the first time that he went looking for the big shot.

It was a bittersweet moment as the crowd went dead quiet, realising that the hero of the day had fallen.

As he started to walk from the stadium though, the crowd stood to there feet saluting a working class hero and a man always held in their highest regard.

Vincent chopped on a couple of overs later on 42, handing the tourists a slim chance.

Marshall drove Gayle straight to Bradshaw for one and over later and the home side was teetering at 88-6.

McCullum missed a straight one, as did Fulton and that left Franklin and Bond to get New Zealand home.

Needing 16 off the final over, Franklin hit Bradshaw into the ASB Stand to give the Black Caps a chance. Bond ran hard to leave himself needing five to win off the last ball.

He smashed Bradshaw through cover for four to send the match to a bowl-off.

Astle went first in the shootout for New Zealand but missed with both of his deliveries while Smith missed his two chances for the visitors.

Patel failed to hit with the next to attempts and so did West Indian Gayle.

Cairns couldn't get woodwork with his two shots and Taylor blew his chances in-turn.

Bond had already been something of a hero with the bat and collected middle and off with his first attempt in the shootout, while his second delivery cleaned out middle stump.

Left-armer Bradshaw came up with nothing from his two goes leaving Styris the chance for New Zealand to take a 3-0 unassailable lead.

He hit on the first crack to win the match in the most dramatic of circumstances and send Cairns out in the appropriate manner.

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