New Zealand v West Indies, 1st T20, Auckland January 11, 2014

Ronchi, McCullums set up emphatic win


New Zealand 189 for 5 (B McCullum 60*, Ronchi 45*, Best 3-40) beat West Indies 108 for 8 (N McCullum 4-24, Neesham 3-16) by 81 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Luke Ronchi and Brendon MCCullum turned a flagging New Zealand innings around with an unbeaten 85-run partnership in the last 7.1 overs, which gave them a comfortable total to defend given West Indies' weakened batting. On a slowish pitch and short straight boundaries where mis-hits sail for comfortable sixes, Tino Best pulled New Zealand back twice, but Ronchi and Brendon McCullum smashed seven sixes and five fours in the last six overs to take the game away from West Indies. Brendon McCullum scored 32 off the last 15 balls he played, and Ronchi, the man who provided New Zealand the first turn of momentum, took 48 off 25.

It could have been much worse for West Indies had it not been for the intervention from Best when he stopped the rampaging Martin Guptill at the top of the innings and Colin Munro in the middle. Guptill just pushed and smacked down the ground everything pitched in his arc. The last three balls of the second over went for six, four and four. Best got another over at the top, and showed he had realised you couldn't pitch up at Eden park. Guptill still managed to hit a short delivery through mid-off for four, but Best finally got the better of him when he cramped him up.

A slow period followed during which New Zealand lost Jesse Ryder and Ross Taylor. Brendon McCullum put his head down to make sure they didn't lose too many wickets, in the process going at under a run a ball. At 70 for 3 after 10 overs, they needed a push, which Munro provided with an 18-run over from Nikita Miller. Best, though, came back and removed him and Corey Anderson with aggressive short-of-a-length bowling.

After 14 overs, Brendon McCullum was still only 28 off 30, and a low total loomed. Ronchi, though, began the turnaround with an onslaught on Andre Russell, whose first over was the 15th of the innings. To balls pitched up, all you needed was a decent swing of the bat, and they were flying into the stands. Sunil Narine got a quiet 16th over in, but he wasn't accorded such respect in the 18th when Ronchi slog-swept him for a six, and then read a carrom ball to late-cut it for four.

With the score at 175 after 19 overs, it was down to Best again. Best began well, bowling quick and short of a length, conceding just one run off the first three balls. This is when Brendon McCullum took the calculated risk, charging him, making sure the short ball was now in his swinging arc, and sending it over long-on. With the next ball he guessed right, got under a low full toss, and ramped it way over fine leg for six. The two shots just pushed a gettable total into the realm of improbable for a weakened batting line-up.

Lendl Simmons fell to the pace of Adam Milne, who would later go on to touch 153.1 kmph. Johnson Charles swung a few, but he is a low-percentage batsman, and soon inside-edged James Neesham. With the openers gone, it was always going to be down to Dwayne Bravo and Andre Russell, but by the time they came together, the required rate had crossed 13, and there were 10 overs to go.

Playing his 50th Twenty20 international, having led the side out, Nathan McCullum was enjoying the hole-outs from the frustrated middle order. It took Russell two balls to try to hit a six, but the tall Guptill pulled out a stunner at the long-on boundary. In Nathan McCullum's next over, Bravo found Ryder at long-off. If the game hadn't been over already, the last rites were now performed.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy on January 14, 2014, 2:42 GMT

    Maybe now Cricinfo will list Milne as Fast instead of Medium Fast.

  • paul on January 13, 2014, 8:06 GMT

    nicevans ...bmac has found his game (beach cricket 20/20) and I for one say he is good at it...but only good...was great every now and then....but then I cant really make comment on what happens in 20/20 now as I don't watch it You mention you cant put a price on a good captain....are you kidding. When the likes of Turner and Coney speak I listen....when the talking heads on sky sport speak I change to the radio...I want to listen to the truth not some beat up by paid cheer leaders who dear not say it as it should be for the fear of no job. Turner and Coney from what I heard, don't rate him and I happen to agree....what you say is an insult to several in that team who I feel if they had of been in charge we could have won several tests since Taylor got shafted. In fact, if in any top 6 country in the world, BMac would not be playing test cricket based on his batting stats. But then in any other country in the world, John Wright would never have been replaced by the likes of a Hesson.

  • jared on January 13, 2014, 4:43 GMT

    @ nicevans yeah i think test retirement is not far away like you say his body is not holding up, as for the top 10, im not one to go through all the stat pages and find them all but there will be some train spotters who will but what i do know is mccullums first class stats arn't that great, an average of about 35, to be fair he hasn't probably played alot of first class cricket but there would be at least 10 guys in the country with better first class stats than that and seeing that first class stats are all we have to pick our test players in theory everyone of those players would make better test cricketers, daryl mitchell, craig and carl cachopa, latham are some just off the top of my head that look like good batters with good techniques only we don't know if they are better than mccullum because they arn't getting a go because the captain cant be dropped im sure if any of those guys got the amount of games mccullums had they would have better records but we may never know

  • Reg on January 12, 2014, 22:21 GMT

    Dear nicevans: why do you think this performance of McCullum has proved me wrong? Quite the opposite. It shows that when he bats responsibly he can make a contribution, as i have posted previously. The problem is that he bats responsibly very very seldom. That makes him a poor captain as well as a poor batsman. QED

  • Dummy4 on January 12, 2014, 18:35 GMT

    Inept administration and lack of a proper cricketing system bears the fruit that W.I. is now reaping.The results will be the same until the rotten head is removed and a proper system that effectively nurtures young players and retrains older ones is implemented.

  • SCOTT on January 12, 2014, 10:12 GMT

    Kiwicricketnut Every captain makes mistakes, but the amount of criticism he receives is out of proportion to the situation, and unfortunately some of it is based on how he received the captaincy and his perceived demeanour, not his batting average. Example - the last odi. As more learned commentators like Styris had noted, it wasn't a bad idea to bowl first in Hamilton considering the history of run chases at that ground, but of course everyone is an expert after the event. I agree though that he does need to lead more from the front at test level,and could certainly be more tayloresque in the way he approaches his innings in recent times. But you cant put a price on good captaincy, and he is our best at the moment, considering the realistic options. And not in the top 10 current test batsmen?, please name them, i'm sure the selectors would like to know! Anyway, I think his back injury will end his test career, possibly even as soon as after the next world cup

  • jared on January 12, 2014, 9:32 GMT

    @ nicevans i think most fans rate b mac in the shorter forms i know i do and i dont mind his captaincy but he still makes some howlers like sending the windies in on a road in hamilton when we had them on the ropes, basically released all the pressure and heaped it all on us, so his captaincy is nowhere near the mantis - fleming but i do like that he is proactive and aggressive, i think you have to be with limited resources, thats what made crowe so good, its test cricket that most fans have an issue with mccullum and im one, i no longer believe he is in the top 6 batsmen in the country for that format, i actually don't even think he is in the top 10, we are not good enough to carry a specailist captain he contributes the odd quick fire 50 but not much else and his average is falling not growing. as for the coach, i can understand fan frustration when the best coach in the country isn't the national coach, the world cup is where he will be judged so he better win or close or he's gone

  • SCOTT on January 12, 2014, 7:56 GMT

    Interesting no comments from the usual anti Maccullum Hesson brigade, last night must have been terrible for them! I'm sure they will be back next time, being blackcap fans and all

  • Dolly on January 12, 2014, 3:36 GMT

    This young NZ side is rocking and they will surely embarass India on that tour . With Milne bowling over 140 km India's flat track bullies will be undone just like in SA. India can never compete with their pedestrian fast bowlers and their batsmen fear genuine fast bowling in spite of the helmets and many body pads they wear. Ashwin ,Ojah and Jadega will be useless in NZ so no use taking them on that trip. Bring back Kumble and Harbajhan for their experience,

  • Dummy4 on January 12, 2014, 3:24 GMT

    Milne bowled a lot fuller this match than previously, and the batsmen couldn't just use his pace to hit him behind square - give him another few years, add a bit more bulk and he has the potential to bowl even quicker than 153!

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