NZ v WI, Super Eights, World Twenty20, Pallekele

Narine's best keeps West Indies alive

David Hopps in Pallekele

October 1, 2012

Comments: 24 | Text size: A | A

Sunil Narine had a wonderful night. He tied up New Zealand late in the innings, just as he had in a one-day series in the Caribbean a few months earlier, and along with his fellow spinner, Samuel Badree, bowled eight overs for 38 runs to enable West Indies - with a little help from a Super Over - to defend 139.

Narine's wickets told of his distinctive talent; his figures of 3 for 20 reflecting his best display of the tournament. Two left-hand batsmen, James Franklin and Jacob Oram, fell to carrom balls: Franklin poked at one to be caught at slip, Oram was fooled by another that came back to trap him lbw. There was a third wicket, too, as Narine held his nerve in the penultimate over to have Nathan McCullum caught on the slog sweep.

His captain, Darren Sammy, was delighted with his young spinner. "We played New Zealand at home and the last three games we won when it went down to the wire and Narine played a very important part in the latter overs. That's why I used him in that manner - overs 17 and 19 - and he got two wickets in that period for very few runs. That was a key moment for us. It was a much better bowling display for us."

All in all it was a good night then, duly recognised with the Man-of-the-Match award, but Narine should also remember one careless moment that almost cost West Indies the match. His inexplicable fumble of a trundler at short fine leg in the final over of New Zealand's innings not only gifted an extra run but it kept Ross Taylor on strike.

New Zealand needed 14, 13 to tie, off Marlon Samuels' final over and when Narine misfielded, the balance shifted. Neither West Indies spinner fielded well and such largesse cannot easily be survived.

Samuels had been charged with bowling that final over after a lengthy consultation involving five West Indies players. He was chosen over Andre Russell, who has not had a good tournament, but Sammy could have bowled Chris Gayle or Kieron Pollard, too. Samuels was to bowl in the Super Over, too, an even greater surprise considering that the entire attack was available. He seems to bowl final overs or not at all, a curious speciality act.

Sunil Narine bowled superbly taking 3 for 20, New Zealand v West Indies, Super Eights, World Twenty20 2012, Pallekele, October 1, 2012
Sunil Narine's tight overs at the death helped West Indies tie the game © AFP

Super Overs are surely designed for West Indies batsmen. Gayle struck a six off the first ball, a wide half-volley that was also a no-ball; Samuels finished it off with another six with one ball unused. Tim Southee's intentions were sound - not only to bowl yorkers but, to Gayle at least, to bowl them wide of off-stump to escape his preferred hitting arc, but his execution was lacking. It can't be easy to bowl yorkers in a Super Over with Gayle, muscular and threatening, stood at the other end.

Gayle had played with formidable insouciance, as is his style, in the match proper, in making 31 from 14 balls, but at Super Over time, even he looked driven, almost tense, as he jogged up the dressing room steps to pad up. With his piratical bandana, he resembles Captain Jack's more muscular brother.

"Eighteen runs with Chris batting, it is always possible," Sammy said. "We back Chris to clear the boundary. Six runs off a no ball was just a perfect start. When games get so tight the true West Indies celebrations come out. We can really dance. We have no difficulty doing that."

West Indies' victory had seemed unlikely when they made only 139, which Sammy conceded was well below the 160 he had regarded as a likely ambition. Their balance again seemed awry. They again omitted three batsmen- Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith and Dwayne Bravo - and this time experimented with Russell at No 3. It was a bit late in the day for experiments and it did not come off, as he picked out short fine leg when he had made only 6.

Not for the first time, the belief that if you silence Gayle you silence West Indies was disturbingly close to the truth. Gayle made 30 from 13 balls before he pushed cautiously at one that left him from Tim Southee and was caught at the wicket.

Southee had silenced him once, but he was unable to silence him a second time. It was easy to sympathise.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by kemmisito on (October 3, 2012, 20:20 GMT)

@ Tim Campbell. If the points for a tied match were shared as you suggested [1 point each] New Zealand would only have had 2 points so would not have made it to the Semis as Sri Lanka would have 5 points and West Indies 3. So no matter how you look at it Sri Lanka and West Indies would be the teams going through to the Semi Finals. Well played to Zew Zealand though as they showed once again that they are a force to reckon with.

Posted by Silva-Surfa on (October 3, 2012, 9:41 GMT)

Just wanted to elaborate on Adonijah Alleyne's comments about Ramdin. For a while now i was thinking that Lendl Simmons should focus more on his keeping because he only appears to be a fringe player as a batsman. If his keeping improved then he could push for a place in the side because i'm not convinced with Ramdin's allround performance. Don't get me wrong he's the best gloveman in the Caribbean, but his batting should be better for the ability that he has. When you make comparisions with the other keepers in world cricket, Ramdin has under-achieved the most, with the bat. Both Lendl Simmons and Andre Fletcher should take note and work more on their wicket-keeping skills, if they want to get back in favour with the selectors. The semis against Oz?..we have a shot if we're batting second, we have to play both spinners and try to get Watson, Warner and Hussey out, before they get their eye in.

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 2:26 GMT)

Lendl Simmons should replace Ramdin, Dwayne Smith for Darren Bravo and Dwayne Bravo for Russell.

Posted by   on (October 2, 2012, 23:58 GMT)

@Tim Campbell. Sir all teams were aware of the competition rules before the tournament started. I humbly suggest that any team unhappy with the rules should not have entered as a form of protest. You can't complain about the rules after you are eliminated.

Posted by   on (October 2, 2012, 11:10 GMT)

I found it peculiar that Narine wasn't chosen to bowl the SuperOver. He is our most difficult and economical bowler, when he gets it right. But maybe the pressure of the situation might've been too much for the young man, who is still relatively inexperienced at International level. Still plenty of room for improvement by the Windies and even despite the other group places haven't been completed, it looks as though the Windies could be facing Australia again in the Semis. The balance of the team is still unconvincing, but this would be my 11. Charles, Gayle, Samuels, Dwayne Bravo, Pollard, Russell, Sammy, Ramdin, Rampaul, Narine, Badree.

Posted by ANWAR_FK on (October 2, 2012, 9:20 GMT)

i also think a tie should be awarded 1 point.. no need for superover unless its a knockout match such as semi final or final..

but as sumone suggested couple of posts back still NZ wouldnt have gone through.. they would have ended up on 2 points and windies on 3...

Posted by rayinto on (October 2, 2012, 2:55 GMT)

Get real people. West Indies were 1 run away from being Waste Indies.

Posted by Lamsalsandesh on (October 2, 2012, 1:55 GMT)

well done mr. narine.

PLEASE DROP DARREN BRAVO, RAMDIN (wicket keeper) for upcomming matches if you really want to grab the trophy.

we could not see these fellow doing any thing in T20 match. I always fear RAMDIN to score double figure. Please replace him.

Posted by Metman on (October 2, 2012, 1:12 GMT)

Why was Darren Bravo included ? this man was DROPPED from the one day squad earlier this year due to POOR after a long lay off, and no meaningfull practice,he is back in the one day fold,...and fails AGAIN ! Russell's record in T20 cricket is poor, so is Pollards'....Dwayne Smiths' is slightly better,yet he is on the bench.It is time to get rid of Ramdin FOR GOOD after this World Cup...a dropped catch,a miss stump in the last match,..and now 1 run....I know Viv IS talking now,...and LAUGHING TOO !

Posted by   on (October 2, 2012, 0:41 GMT)

Super overs are dumb. They don't allow for a team effort at all, just one individual. In the SL/NZ super over Malinga (arguably best death bowler) bowled and in NZ/WI match Chris Gayle bats. Sure NZ has McCullum and Taylor but it still doesn't seem a fair contest at all. What's wrong with a draw? If both teams got half a win then NZ would be in the semis as they should be. As it is the 2 teams that NZ tied with go through to the semis and the one team that beat NZ doesn't go through. There's something wrong with the system.

Posted by kamiCric on (October 2, 2012, 0:03 GMT)

Will New Zealand ever win a major tournament? Is it the passion that is lacking or something else? Come on fellas you are more than that. No disrespect to Windies today and wish them well to go all the way this time round.

Posted by   on (October 1, 2012, 23:43 GMT)

Good player in T20.....keep it up and bri ng it home.

Posted by spanishwestindian on (October 1, 2012, 22:35 GMT)

@Walter Maloney: I totally agree. There was no need to experiment with Russell, with Samuels batting at no 3 and in good form. Russell is much more useful lower in the order when the field is spread.

Posted by   on (October 1, 2012, 22:15 GMT)

Why Russell at 3 when Samuels & young Bravo in the team?, this can only destroy his confidence more as they dont use him to bowl anymore, with him and the captain playing pretty much the same type of role go figure, they should play Smith in his place . We need more than one captain, the 2nd should be a batsman, Ramdin, Samuels, Young Bravo, Gayle are as good options as any, T&T should appoint young bravo as captain to push my point this is a pro team we need cricketers who are special,and not mediocre talent in the captian's spot.

Posted by   on (October 1, 2012, 21:45 GMT)

mr gsingh...Nz have won icc champions trophy beating india in finals....

Posted by   on (October 1, 2012, 21:10 GMT)

This is a funny game but NZ did not prepare for the supper over factor. They lost 2 matches one to Sri Lanka who had a tailor made bowler in Malinga. West indies had Chris Gayle the best batter to handle.

Posted by MashoodMustafa on (October 1, 2012, 20:12 GMT)

Hard luck kiwis..........

Posted by Surajdon9 on (October 1, 2012, 20:06 GMT)

Narine shows his importance........................

Posted by   on (October 1, 2012, 19:13 GMT)

So unlucky New zealand.....

Posted by gsingh7 on (October 1, 2012, 18:59 GMT)


Posted by   on (October 1, 2012, 18:36 GMT)

we won but not a convincing win. Problems with our batting ramdin should sit down simmons or smith to wicketkeep. Pollard yet to produce. Your best batsman must bat at three ( samuels)

Posted by denessa on (October 1, 2012, 18:08 GMT)


Posted by   on (October 1, 2012, 17:57 GMT)

Congrats West Indies. Good job Narine.

Posted by   on (October 1, 2012, 16:21 GMT)

Gutted ... but its a all to knowing feeling

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David HoppsClose
David Hopps David Hopps joined ESPNcricinfo as UK editor early in 2012. For the previous 20 years he was a senior cricket writer for the Guardian and covered England extensively during that time in all Test-playing nations. He also covered four Olympic Games and has written several cricket books, including collections of cricket quotations. He has been an avid amateur cricketer since he was 12, and so knows the pain of repeated failure only too well. The pile of untouched novels he plans to read, but rarely gets around to, is now almost touching the ceiling. He divides his time between the ESPNcricinfo office in Hammersmith and his beloved Yorkshire.
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