West Indies v New Zealand, 1st ODI, Kingston July 5, 2012

Russell four sets up comfortable Windies win


West Indies 136 for 1 (Smith 65*, Gayle 63*) beat New Zealand 190 for 9 (Watling 60, Russell 4-45, Narine 2-26) by nine wickets (by D/L method)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

New Zealand got a sampler of how tough this ODI series could get for them when their inexperienced line-up crumbled against disciplined bowling led by Andre Russell and their bowlers were swatted away by Chris Gayle and Dwayne Smith.

The sharp Russell struck with his first delivery, in the second over, and New Zealand were always under pressure after that. BJ Watling, the wicketkeeper-batsman, hung around to ensure New Zealand batted out 50 overs, something they hadn't looked like achieving at 71 for 5 in the 24th over.

In contrast, Gayle and Smith bulldozed their way to 93 for 1 in 18 overs before returning after an almost two-hour rain break to motor to the revised target of 136 in 33 overs with 52 deliveries to spare. The game, though, had almost been decided during New Zealand's disappointing innings.

The visitors made the Sabina Park surface look much worse than it actually was. There was bounce, but little seam movement, and the swing wasn't unmanageable. West Indies, though, made superb use of whatever was on offer, Russell finding just enough away shape to have Guptill edging his sixth ball low to second slip. That was one of the few wickets New Zealand did not give away.

Daniel Flynn seemed to have recovered from a scratchy start only to chop a drive onto his stumps; Rob Nicol looked alright before charging and holing out to deep square leg to give Russell his third wicket in his fifth over.

New Zealand were 36 for 3 in ten overs when Sunil Narine came on to bowl, and predictably, they had no clue what was coming their way. Thumb or no thumb on the ball, they could not make out the big offspinner from the carrom ball. Dean Brownlie scratched around for 13 balls to make one run before being caught plumb in front by a straighter one from Narine.

Kane Williamson, the stand-in New Zealand captain, and Watling somehow managed to survive Narine's opening spell of 5-1-4-1. Just when New Zealand seemed to have begun some sort of recovery, Williamson, on 24, guided Darren Sammy's fourth ball into the hands of the keeper to leave the visitors struggling to survive the full 50 overs.

Watling, though he never looked completely in control, settled down to nudge and whip on the leg side, 50 of his 60 runs coming on that half of the ground. He added 46 with Jacob Oram and 44 with Andrew Ellis and survived two leg-before referrals, against Narine when on 26 and against Russell on 40.

But the boost that could have taken New Zealand towards a fighting total never arrived. Jacob Oram, the only New Zealand batsman who looked threatening, got out in the second over of the batting Powerplay, looking for more runs after swinging a couple of sixes. Just 26 runs came off the Powerplay ultimately, and it ended with Ellis playing out a maiden to Narine, who later bowled Ellis to finish with 2 for 26.

Watling continued to accumulate as New Zealand scraped 57 off the last ten overs, but as if succumbing to Russell and co. was not enough, New Zealand had Gayle and Smith to contend with. To round off their woes, Ellis could not bowl after picking up a leg injury while batting.

In his first international match at his home ground since June 2009, Gayle began like he often has recently, with a maiden to Tim Southee. He soon started to swing boundaries down the ground freely. Southee and Oram were lifted nonchalantly for straight sixes; the spinners Tarun Nethula and Nicol met a similar fate. Smith, who largely struggled for timing, clobbered a few sixes over his favoured leg side, and also benefited from loose deliveries on the pads.

With West Indies having knocked off nearly half of the original target in 18 overs, the expected rain arrived. Had there been a washout, the game would have ended without a result as West Indies' innings had been halted two overs short of the 20 needed for the Duckworth-Lewis method to be applied.

However, play eventually resumed with an hour to go for the cut-off time of 6 pm, leaving West Indies another 43 to get in 90 deliveries. Gayle and Smith eased to victory in fading light; New Zealand's chances had faded long back.

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Earlla on July 6, 2012, 16:49 GMT


  • Oshane on July 6, 2012, 16:29 GMT

    Congrats on a well fought victory WI. However, I don't like the way the WI treats its older players like over-used garbage. Chanderpaul should NOT be left out or forced out of the WI side because he is too old (or whatever) and should NOT have to fight for a spot in the team.

    He still has a lot to offer to WI cricket,

  • Anant on July 6, 2012, 14:59 GMT

    I know I am off the mark but still let me make my point. I find the terms four-for / five-for for wickets taken, somewhat funny. It appears as a forced nomenclature just to distinguish runs from wkts. Its an attempt to coin a classy term for wkts taken but fails miserably at that. One might as well just say five wkts/four wkts and keep it simple.

  • Dominic on July 6, 2012, 14:28 GMT

    Even with technology the officials still get their decisions wrong, no wonder India is objection to the DRS system, although I am in favour something has to be done about the LBW decisions.

  • Dummy4 on July 6, 2012, 14:15 GMT

    wi v india wct20 final !!!!!!!!!!!! wat a treat 2 watch!!!!!

  • Fawad on July 6, 2012, 13:56 GMT

    Well Played WI. Just Sarwan Taylor is missing now and the team will be successful! I had a joke when I saw ENGLAND is the number one 20/20 and Test team because ENGLAND cannot win a series outside of ENGLAND. I am shocked. Seems like the more money the team has the higher their rankings are with the ICC. This is a joke actually because even WI will destroy England in 20/20 with this team. SWANN is # 1 20/20 bowler. This is a joke as well. Try the Afridi, Tanvir, Gul, Narine Malinga...Lol so many better bowler than SWANN. This is shocking news. The ICC rankings is a big joke.

  • Akeen on July 6, 2012, 12:48 GMT

    The persons that say Lendl Simmons should not be in West Indies , do u guys think before u talk???? who will u put in front of him?? everyday is not catching day maybe he fails now but yall know the talent he has, when Windies was down who help them smh... yall need to chill

  • Dummy4 on July 6, 2012, 12:46 GMT

    Its amazing ho we look at the game and judge by just watching a few games. Previous to the English tour, Simmo had the highest ODI average among our players (minus Gayle). includes our stars like Bravo / Pollard / Smith. He has been injured and not lacking some form and under pressure. However Simmo is a good player and will get it right soon. Well done WI, keep it up, lets hope these wins propel us to bigger things

  • Alex on July 6, 2012, 11:28 GMT

    For quite sometime now i have been saying that the West Indies have been playing against 13 men on the field of play . Now with the new technogoly , they aer up against 14 . The replay clearly showed that SIMMONS should not have been given out . Thanks SMITTY , keep on batting .

  • itch on July 6, 2012, 10:19 GMT

    I think Simmons needs to play only when a team needs a batsman to hold out in a test for a draw!! he is not made to make runs period!

  • No featured comments at the moment.