Cricket: Maddy Green, spinners see White Ferns topple West Indies for Twenty20 series lead

New Zealand have taken a 2-1 Twenty20 series lead over the West Indies, with a five-wicket victory at Antigua.

Reduced to 20/4 in their chase of 94, an invaluable 49 not out from Maddy Green guided the White Ferns home with eight balls to spare, after an impressive display from the bowlers.

After captain Sophie Devine won the toss and elected to field first, pace bowler Jess Kerr rewarded her skipper with the wicket of Aaliyah Alleyne  in the third over.

The powerplay saw the West Indies accrue 34/1, before the NZ spinners took complete control.

Captain Hayley Matthews' 30 from 28 balls was the West Indies' best, before she departed to Fran Jonas, who led the White Ferns attack, taking 3/16 from her four overs. She was backed up by fellow tweakers Eden Carson (2/14), Suzie Bates (2/5) and Amelia Kerr (1/28).

Bates contributed with more than just the ball, adding four catches to her two wickets from three overs, but in their run chase, the Kiwis were in trouble with the loss of early wickets. 

Bates (2), Devine (3) and Amelia Kerr (0) all fell for single figures, while Georgia Plimmer (12) was the only top-order batter to pass 10.

All four wickets fell to captain Matthews, who took 4/12 from her four overs to go with her batting high score.

Green played the winning hand, hitting six boundaries and showing composure in a 38-run stand with Lauren Down (16) to keep the target within reach.

Once Down fell, caught by Matthews off the bowling of Afy Fletcher, Green took the initiative, dominating an unbeaten 36-run unbroken partnership with Hayley Jensen (eight not out) to seal victory with a boundary past mid-on, trickling to the rope for the winning runs.

The victory moves the White Ferns to within one win of taking the series, with two matches still to play.

The two sides meet again on Thursday (NZ time) in the fourth T20 at Antigua, before the series finale on Friday at the same venue.

West Indies 93/9 (Matthews 30; Jonas 3/16, Bates 2/5, Carson 2/14) New Zealand 94/5 (Green 49 not out, Down 16; Matthews 4/12)