The Black Caps have slumped to a 20-run defeat in the fifth and final one-day international cricket match against the West Indies at Warner Park, Basseterre.
Chasing 242 runs to win, the Kiwis were poised at 206 for six wickets with five overs remaining, but lost middle-order batsman Kane Williamson for 69 (off 84 balls) in the next over and the tail-enders succumbed rapidly after that.
With the five-match series already decided - the Windies took a 3-1 lead into the encounter - the Black Caps were playing only for pride and form. Their bowlers did a decent job in restricting their rivals to a moderate total and for the third straight innings, they had West Indies danger man Chris Gayle out cheaply, caught by Rob Nicol off Kyle Mills' bowling, for five runs.
But a 53-run partnership between Dwayne Bravo and Devon Thomas steadied the ship, while Andre Russell added the flourish near the end. Bravo (53) and Russell (59) both scored half centuries, with the latter smashing his runs off 40 balls, including six boundaries and three sixes.
Mills and Tim Southeee snapped up three wickets each, while speedster Trent Boult bowled his eight overs for just 29 runs.
The New Zealand run chase got off to a bad start, with opener Rob Nicol dismissed - caught Bravo, bowled Tino Best - in the first over. Martin Guptill and Brendon McCullum resurrected the innings with a partnership of 62 runs, each compiling 33 runs, but the Caps suffered a cruel blow with the stumping of in-form captain Ross Taylor halfway through his team's quest.
After his century in the last encounter, Taylor was just playing himself in, collecting 28 runs off 38 balls, when he ventured too far out of his crease to a delivery from Marlon Samuels and was dismissed by wicketkeeper Thomas.
Williamson and all-rounder Andy Ellis put on another half-century stand to drag their side within sight of the win, but Gayle made a spectacular catch off Sunil Narine to remove Williamson and the effort finally ended when Boult was caught in the deep off the final ball.
Named Man of the Series, Narine once again bamboozled the Kiwis, capturing his first ODI five-wicket bag with 5-27 off his 10 overs. Best and Bravo grabbed two wickets each, while captain Darren Sammy conceded only 30 runs off his 10 overs.
"This was pretty similar to the last game," lamented Taylor afterwards. "In the last 15 overs - both with bat and ball - the West Indies played a lot better than us. Today, we had our chances, but Russell and Narine took it away from us.
"They have played better cricket over the last five games and we need to learn from them. Hopefully, we can get better."
New Zealand will now prepare for a two-match Test series with a fixture against the President's XI at North Sound, starting Friday.