New Zealand v West Indies, 2nd ODI, Napier December 28, 2013

Weakened West Indies look for more success

Match facts

Sunday, December 29 2013
Start time 1400 local (0100 GMT)

Big Picture

For the second time in about a month, West Indies pulled off a two-wicket win with Darren Sammy as the common denominator. But where the chase against India was powered by fluent fifties from Kieran Powell, Darren Bravo, Lendl Simmons and Sammy, Thursday's win in Auckland was the result of the two factors - Sammy's cameo and New Zealand's profligacy with the ball.

New Zealand's bowling, despite lacking in discipline, almost induced West Indies to hand over on a platter the advantage their pace bowlers had gained. When calm batting was all that was needed, a few too many West Indies batsmen fell to shots that should have been shelved, until Sammy's last-gasp act took them to victory.

Both teams didn't have too much knowledge of how the drop-in track would play out, but Jason Holder and Ravi Rampaul bowled tight opening spells that induced errors from an experienced New Zealand line-up. The advantage of dismissing the hosts' top four within the first 12 overs is an immense confidence boost for a side that has struggled to contain the home batsmen through the Tests. West Indies, however, have suffered another setback on the batting front - they will play the rest of the series without Darren Bravo, who returned home on Saturday due to personal reasons.

For New Zealand, the opening partnership is a big concern - they have had just one fifty-plus opening stand in 2013, against Bangladesh in Fatullah, and only two stands worth more than 20 runs. Martin Guptill and Jesse Ryder were both returning from long lay-offs and so it is likely there was some rustiness in the first ODI, but the lack of runs and constant changes at the top put additional pressure on the middle order.

Form guide

New Zealand LLWLL (last five completed matches)
West Indies WLWLL

In the spotlight

Mitchell McClenaghan's dream year continued as the left-arm pacer took his maiden five-for in ODI cricket in Auckland. While he has had his share of injuries, in 15 matches, McClenaghan already has 40 wickets and is a contender for breaking Ajantha Mendis' record for fastest to 50 wickets in ODIs.

Ravi Rampaul doesn't have McClenaghan's impressive record but whenever the bowler has done well, West Indies have invariably found themselves in a winning position. His first over to Guptill in Auckland, where he extracted swing and hit an enticing line immediately, was evidence of why West Indies rely so heavily on him in ODIs.

Team news

The failure of the top order in the first ODI - just 13 runs between Guptill, Ryder, Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor - was a serious blow for New Zealand, but it is unlikely to change. It will be interesting to see if New Zealand make a choice to bring in Adam Milne to bolster the bowling, possibly at the expense of James Neesham.

New Zealand (probable) 1 Martin Guptill, 2 Jesse Ryder, 3 Kane Williamson, 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Brendon McCullum (capt) 6 Corey Anderson 7 Luke Ronchi (wk), 8 James Neesham, 9 Nathan McCullum, 10 Mitchell McClenaghan, 11 Kyle Mills

West Indies have two possible replacements for Bravo - Kirk Edwards and Chadwick Walton. While Edwards hasn't played an ODI since mid-2011, the last of Walton's two one-dayers was in September 2009. Edwards' recent form for West Indies A on the tour of India - he scored 159 runs in three List A games, including one century - may tilt the decision in his favour. The bowling line-up is likely to remain the same.

West Indies (probable) 1 Johnson Charles, 2 Kieran Powell, 3 Kirk Edwards, 4 Lendl Simmons, 5 Dwayne Bravo (capt), 6 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 7 Narsingh Deonarine, 8 Darren Sammy, 9 Sunil Narine, 10 Jason Holder 11 Ravi Rampaul

Pitch and conditions

The pitch at McLean Park is known to be a good batting track. The square boundaries are shorter, which will demand discipline from bowlers on both sides. The weather, however, is predicted to play spoilsport, with forecasts indicating rain.

Stats and trivia

  • With Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels missing due to injury, and Darren Bravo returning home, players in the West Indies squad have scored only four ODI centuries between them
  • Ross Taylor is 82 short of becoming the ninth New Zealand batsman to score 4000 ODI runs. His average of 38.79 is better than the eight New Zealand players who have scored more than him
  • New Zealand have won all three previous ODIs against West Indies in Napier


"I've been looking for assistance from this pitch for 12 years and I'm struggling to find it."
Kyle Mills shares his thoughts on the McLean Park pitch

"The Christmas bonding as a team has us all in the right frame of mind and we're looking to keep going."
Jason Holder on the team spirit in the West Indies camp

Rachna Shetty is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • jared on December 29, 2013, 4:34 GMT

    looks like if we get a game its going to be more like a t-20 match which is dangerous prospect against the windies. i don't actually mind if neesham or milne play i like both prospects but neesham should be ahead on points, he's been outstanding with the ball, he had an off night in auckland for sure but don't you think it was the batters fault we lost not neesham who probably lost a bit of shape going searching for wickets, he's a fine player and his power hitting in the lower order is a huge asset but he's better than just a slogger, he can bat and bat well, i personally can't see the logic in leaving him out but if they give milne a go thats ok too, if there is one thing our attack lacks its out and out pace, mitchell johnson has proven how important that can be so developing milne is important too.

  • Dummy4 on December 29, 2013, 3:20 GMT

    Neesham is a far better bowler (and same speed) as Milne. Better record too and form. Yet he can bat. Why play people who are worse because they are playing at home? We are down 1-0. No room for sentiment. Neesham has 12 wickets at 21. If match shortened (and it is) you want hitting options also with the bat.... Neesham, Ryder and McCullum are the cleanest hitters in the team on their day. Mills is a superb ODI performer for NZ, as is McClenaghan... but this is not a game to carry an unproven (and underperforming historically) player. Play Neesham AND Andersen... do not punish a guy for being good at more than one discipline. All-rounders who are potential match-winners with bat or ball must play. I smell favouritism from Shane Bond wanting to play his prodigy / pet project... and it is VERY disappointing. We want an aggressive team with multiple all-rounders... that is our ticket to success in this world cup. Neesham earned another chance to contribute before Southee replaces Milne.

  • Shoaib on December 29, 2013, 0:50 GMT

    Uninteresting series and poor crowds.

  • Roy on December 29, 2013, 0:42 GMT

    West Indies! I got my money on you!!

  • Angus on December 28, 2013, 20:19 GMT

    @corzanz agree totally. Was at the garden of eden on boxing day and although he wasn't the only one, neesham couldn't bowl line and length at all. It was exaggerated by the state of the innings, nz required both ends to be shut down. In my mind he let the Windies wriggle free. Of course defending a target so small didn't help. Hopefully the rain stays away, who ever heard of rain in Napier??

  • Corey on December 28, 2013, 19:26 GMT

    Please no Neesham.... either select Anderson or Neesham not both. At the moment Anderson is ahead of the two

  • Dummy4 on December 28, 2013, 15:51 GMT

    I hope we can pull off another win. Go West Indies., win it.

  • juslyn on December 28, 2013, 15:05 GMT

    the wi bowlers just have to bowl to the right line an lenth none off them a fast so no short pitch bowling

  • Android on December 28, 2013, 15:03 GMT

    I don't understand why people hate Kyle Mills. He's. certainly the best odi bowler for us since Shane Bond who have played 50+ odi's. If he retires, we'll be sjort of a good outswing bowler. (26 is the average which is one of the betters after taking around 220 wickets).

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