West Indies v New Zealand, 1st Twenty20, Florida June 30, 2012

Gayle, Pollard shine in big win


West Indies 209 for 2 (Gayle 85*, Pollard 63*) beat New Zealand 153 (Nicol 32, Narine 3-34) by 56 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Any worries that the first Twenty20 international in Lauderhill, Florida, would be a dreary contest because of a slow pitch were allayed by an exhibition of power hitting from the West Indian batsmen, much to the delight of the strong Caribbean contingent in the crowd. Kieron Pollard and Chris Gayle were the headliners, hitting missiles into the stands during a 108-run partnership plundered at almost 16 runs an over. Gayle began his innings watchfully but then accelerated to build a sound platform, which allowed Pollard to explode from the get-go and set a target that was comfortably out of New Zealand's reach.

New Zealand were listless in the field and looked every bit a side that hadn't played international cricket since March. Their lines and lengths were unimaginative and inconsistent; they conceded 13 runs in wides and bowled three no-balls; and they missed a stumping, a run-out and a catch. They lost Ronnie Hira to an injured finger, and Jacob Oram and Ross Taylor damaged a knee and a shoulder while fielding. They have less than 24 hours to nurse those injuries and make plans to counter Gayle and Pollard before round two.

Gayle played a calculated innings. He began carefully, leaving deliveries outside off and swaying away from bouncers, and was happy to let Dwayne Smith and Johnson Charles attack. However, whenever there was a lull in the scoring, Gayle would use his muscle. He could have been run out on 8 had a throw from mid-off struck the stumps at the non-striker's end; it did not.

In the tenth over, Gayle hit left-arm spinner Hira powerfully towards long-off, where Oram dived but failed to prevent the boundary. Oram hurt his knee during the dive and had trouble later while bowling - struggling with his line and footing - and running between the wickets. Gayle continued to attack the spinners, carting Nathan McCullum for consecutive straight boundaries before pulling Hira into the stands beyond midwicket. He then hammered the ball back at Hira, who dislocated a finger as he tried to intercept it. Hira went off the field immediately and played no further part in the game.

Pollard entered in 14th over with West Indies 101 for 2. He hit his first and third balls for six, long-distance blows over long-off and long-on off the spinner Kane Williamson. His seventh, off Rob Nicol, also disappeared over long-off. Pollard took charge of the partnership from there on, and Gayle cruised in his slipstream. In the 17th over, Pollard top-edged a pull off Oram towards fine leg, where Taylor circled under the swirling ball and fell hard on his shoulder as he dropped the catch. He would retire hurt at the end of the sixth over of the chase because of that injury.

The penultimate over was the most expensive of the innings. Pollard sent a length ball from Doug Bracewell over the straight boundary to go past 50 off his 24th ball, and then Gayle decided he wanted in on the action. Gayle powered one six flat over long-on, burning McCullum's hands in the process, and sent two more far over deep midwicket to take 26 runs off the 19th over. Fifteen more came in the 20th, as West Indies amassed 209.

West Indies weren't as clinical in the field as they had been with the bat. Their bowlers bowled poor lines, which allowed New Zealand's openers to find the boundary frequently. They also had an injury concern, when Pollard dived and hurt his shoulder while trying in vain to stop a boundary at mid-off.

New Zealand had scored 37 in four overs when Darren Sammy gave Sunil Narine the ball, with immediate results. His first ball was down leg side but Guptill had come out of his crease and overbalanced, leaving Denesh Ramdin with a sharp stumping to complete. In the next over, after scoring 1 off his first eight balls, Taylor cut Samuel Badree for two fours. He winced and clutched his shoulder after each of those shots, and eventually went off the field.

Wickets began to fall regularly after that and the asking-rate soared out of reach. West Indies grew sharper in the field as well, effecting two run outs with direct hits. The game ended when Oram skied a catch to long-off in the penultimate over. New Zealand were nine down but Hira had a compound fracture and did not bat.

George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • rrrr on July 2, 2012, 10:25 GMT

    where is jeetan patel and mark gillespie and darryl tuffy

  • Mark on July 2, 2012, 2:48 GMT

    @YorkshirePudding England are waaay over rated. Like their football team LOL!!!!! England go out on PENALTIES LLOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!! In the QF. In cricket England was dumped out at the QF in Sri Lanka by a superb performance from the Sri Lankan cricketers. Trust bitter England supporters to come on here and try and spoil a windies party. Go Windies!

  • Mark on July 2, 2012, 2:37 GMT

    Well Done West Indies! You guys are the reason I like cricket.

  • Masudur on July 1, 2012, 16:08 GMT

    They have washed away New Zealand.

  • Rob on July 1, 2012, 16:05 GMT

    Destructive batting but favourites for the T20 world cup :) NZ bowling was truly awful, lack of practice and lack of ideas, why not aim for a gradual improvement rather than predicting world domination. BTW I am WI is probably my No. 2 side after England.

  • Reuel on July 1, 2012, 15:45 GMT

    @yorkshirePudding, what are you going on and on about? England are a very strong team at home and have been for a couple of years, even Aus are finding it difficult to beat them. India were demolished by them, so give wi a break, no true wi fan actually thought that WI could beat Eng. WI out batted nz and deserved to win the game so lets focus on that shall we. i would admit our bowling was total rubbish, but Pollard and Gayle batted well. @lenedwards96yahoo.co.uk, both pollard and gayle made runs against your so called superior bowling attack in Eng. Pollard even blasted a century earlier this year against Aus and Gayle has proven himself time and time again, so lets just focus on the NZ vs WI series for now. WI finally had a victory after all the disappointments, so as a West Indian i am enjoying it however it comes, and taking each game on its merit, because it doesn't happen very often.

  • Chetan on July 1, 2012, 14:48 GMT

    England are not the best team at the moment but they were the best at their home.They can beat any side at their home not outside. Ya Ya, someone can say that they had beaten Australia at their home but the fact that was that was the worst Australian team. I wonder if they do the same at Australia this time.But there is no series for England in Australia at the recent future. Let them come to India which might be struggling at this moment that is due to constant injuries and the team members were not high on their fitness. No one can deny what happened to England when they came to India and went to Pakistan. Though they have beaten Pakistan in ODIs with no best players in their rank. England is going to be down starting from the series coming ahead for them.

  • Michael on July 1, 2012, 14:25 GMT

    From a personal standpoint I will accept the fact that the WI are not the strongest team in the world at the moment. The only thing stopping us is a lack of confidence due to repeated failures. No question as to the raw talent as this is there for all to see. If we can put it all together, no doubt we will a force in world cricket again.

  • Jason on July 1, 2012, 13:29 GMT

    @Bruisers, whats that got to do with the price of eggs, Gayle didnt do much in the ODI series in england though, and less than nothing in the T20 game that was played. Actually I havent forgotten, and know that we played badly, the difference is that I accept it as part of the game, and dont look to make excuses or claim that we are better than we are.

  • Carl on July 1, 2012, 12:59 GMT


    Why begrudge a few happy Windies fans enjoying a rare victory against a decent side? We have had very little to cheer since the great days when the West Indies team was the finest to grace a cricket field, so allow us to smile once in a while. We know how much better England's team is right now, but we are playing New Zealand at this time, so comment on that, rather than the series that has finished already. Your mind should be on Australia, not the Windies.

  • No featured comments at the moment.