CARLOS Brathwaite hit an astonishing century from just 80 balls but the West Indies fell agonisingly short of surprising the New Zealanders in their 2019 Cricket World Cup match at Old Trafford.
The Windies lost with only five runs and as Brathwaite went for another magnificent six but as he went for one last boundary, he was caught by Trent Boult to end West Indies’ innings in a heartbreaking finish.
The five run victory ensured the Kiwis a place in the semi-finals of the tournament.
Chasing 292 for victory, West Indies had been reduced to 164-7 and needed 33 runs from the final 18 balls to seal an unlikely success at Old Trafford.
Brathwaite struck three huge sixes off Matt Henry in the 48th over and top edged a four, taking the required target to eight from 12 balls.
He reached his century with six runs needed in a nail-biting finale, but as he went for one last boundary, he was caught by Trent Boult to end West Indies’ innings in a heartbreaking finish.
Brathwaite slumped to his knees as he saw Boult take the catch on the long-on boundary, extinguishing West Indies’ hopes of victory.
He was quickly consoled by the New Zealand fielders and was given a lengthy standing ovation by the packed crowd.
Ultimately, though, the loss means West Indies are all but out of the World Cup, with New Zealand topping the table.
New Zealand’s victory was built on a peerless 148 from captain Kane Williamson, who rescued his side after they lost two wickets in the opening over.