Yet the West Indies got to within one hit of victory thanks to Carlos Brathwaite's remarkable 101 - his maiden one-day global century coming after just a lone fifty in the all-rounder's previous 37 matches at this level.
"The New Zealanders are some of the best people in the world", said Brathwaite.
Why not? He'd belted five sixes earlier in the innings.But this time, New Zealander Trent Boult was there to take a catch just inside the boundary rope. World Cup is truly alive now #WIvNZ."An apex body of cricket tweeted that Brathwaite played the greatest knock of World Cup history.Some other Twitter users praised Brathwaite on his magnificent inning".
The West Indies were all out for 286, losing by just five runs.
Unbeaten New Zealand top the table on 11 points and look good for a semi-final spot but with three potentially tight matches ahead the side will be keen not to lose such an important player for the run-in. "They haven´t been together for a long time, unlike teams like England, New Zealand and India, who have had a core group for a long time".
Russell is viewed by West Indies management as a match-winner but his lack of fitness has been palpable, leading to questions being raised about his continued inclusion in the side. "But if it came in my area I'd try to finish the game with that ball", Brathwaite told journalists afterwards during the mixed zone. Brathwaite saw out three dots before heaving away two to get to his century, which was celebrated with a pump of the fist and a bat raise.
Neesham took some fearsome punishment at the death during the home summer but kept his cool as they won again with the same XI for all five victories.
After his nerveless match-winning hundred in the win over South Africa, Williamson showed all the same composure in another classy knock, punctuated by elegant boundaries predominantly through the offside. "We've just got to seize the crucial moments in the game - I don't think we've done that well enough here in this tournament so far", Holder lamented.
Brathwaite looked set to defy the odds when smashing 24 off Henry's final over and bring up his century, in turn leaving the Windies requiring just six to win.
"He's got very good hands", said Williamson of Boult. "We're trying to manage niggles the best we possibly can", he said.
But Williamson, the skipper of a New Zealand side who are now unbeaten at the World Cup as they look to go one better than their losing appearance in the 2015 final, said at the toss: "We know without a doubt the threat West Indies pose".
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