Vettori praises 'outstanding' openers
Daniel Vettori, the New Zealand captain, praised the team's openers for setting up the 36-run win over West Indies in the second Twenty20 international in Hamilton. Jesse Ryder and Brendon McCullum put on an match-winning 130-run stand in 11.4 overs after New Zealand chose to bat, helping the hosts break their eight-match winless streak in Twenty20s.
"It was outstanding stuff from Jesse and Brendon and they played the way I think everyone expects them to play every time they go out there," Vettori said. "They looked good from the start. I think they both settled themselves a bit easier than in Auckland and they gave themselves that base.
"Once Brendon and Jesse do that I think they give themselves an opportunity and you don't need that many balls to pile up a big score and they showed that today."
One of the major threats for New Zealand heading into the game was Chris Gayle, but debutant Ewen Thompson, who took the new ball, dismissed the West Indies captain in his first over. "Ewen Thompson came in in his first game and did the job that was prescribed to him. We were pretty thankful for that," Vettori said. "We were pretty ruthless the whole way through and I think the way we fielded, the way we caught and the energy in the field led us to that victory."
The teams had shared the two-Test series 0-0 and Sunday's win in Hamilton helped New Zealand square the Twenty20 series 1-1 after West Indies went ahead in the first game in Auckland via the 'Eliminator'. The teams will now face off in a five-ODI series, starting on December 31 in Queenstown, which Vettori felt would be a close contest as well.
"We'll be confident on our home patch but we know they've got some pretty destructive players led by [Chris] Gayle and [Ramnaresh] Sarwan and [Shivnarine] Chanderpaul," he said. "If we can do our utmost to eliminate their contributions throughout the series I think that will give us a huge chance of winning."