West Indies v New Zealand, 2nd ODI, Kingston July 8, 2012

Improved New Zealand must do more - Watling

ESPNcricinfo staff

New Zealand wicketkeeper BJ Watling, who made an unbeaten 72 in a lost cause at Sabina Park, has said his side had improved and gained confidence from the performance in the second ODI. However, he said the key to winning games against West Indies was finding an answer to Chris Gayle.

West Indies, riding on Gayle's explosive century, were on course for a mammoth score before New Zealand's death bowling restricted them to 315. The visitors then made 260 in the chase, and the 55-run margin of defeat was less severe than those of previous matches.

"We have improved the death bowling and I think the boys really finished off the [West Indies] innings well," Watling said after the game. "We dried up the boundaries at the end and if we can obviously take a couple of wickets at the start, get Gayle out and then put them under a bit of pressure, I think we have got a chance of getting up in the next few games."

New Zealand conceded only 69 in the last ten overs even though West Indies had Marlon Samuels, batting on 71, and Kieron Pollard at the crease and seven wickets in hand. Watling said a tighter bowling performance at the start of the innings was crucial.

"They looked at one stage to get 350 but the boys at the end there, they hit the hole, they struggled to find the boundaries like they had in the previous games and we really adjusted quite well at the end," Watling said. "Obviously, we can start a bit better. If we can get a couple of early poles, if we can get Gayle out early, it's obviously a bonus."

Gayle has scored 85*, 53, 63* and 125 in two Twenty20s and two ODIs against New Zealand on this tour, and all four have been match-winning innings. "If we can get Gayle out of the equation and make their other players bat, I think we've got a good chance of putting them under some good pressure," Watling said.

Watling was pleased with his performance in the Caribbean so far, having scored 60 in the first ODI and 72 in the second. "[I] managed to find a few boundary options and get the ones away so it was pleasing, but it's obviously in a losing effort which is never too good."

Three New Zealand batsmen went past 50 during the chase of 316 but Watling said half-centuries weren't enough. "A couple of batters got fifties, so that's obviously a confidence booster and we've got to keep working on it. Fifty is obviously not good enough. Their two blokes got hundreds. Someone in our top five needs to get a hundred and then we build from that.

"We do have an inexperienced batting line-up. These guys are on their first tour. Guys have played ten games and we don't have that Gayle at the moment, and we're looking to find it."

New Zealand trail 0-2 in the five-match series and will travel to St. Kitts for the third ODI on July 11.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Vaughan on July 9, 2012, 15:11 GMT

    I dont think anyone should loose the plot just yet. Actually given that we are playing without Ryder, Taylor, McCullum which is essentially the heart of NZ batting, we were not to far off in the last ODI. Get Gayle out for less than 50 and its game on! This is a great opportunity for some fringe players to put pressure on - Flynn, Latham, Brownlie. Hopefully Guptil, Watling and Williamson can build on their starts... Not sure about the bowling though. I agree with a few others they should be looking for some pace to hurry up these power players like Gayle. Still dont understand NZ's selection policy on quicks. What did Andy McKay do wrong appart from being 30+ ? Shame Gilesbie's injured. I am pleased that they have not brought Wagner in just yet. His stats show that he is much better at the longer form. So let him get estabilsed in the test team first. We cant afford to ruin another good player! Im sure he will play ODI's too eventually. Give the boys some time I say..

  • Clem on July 9, 2012, 8:37 GMT

    Seriously, why can NZ cricket not wake up and realise we cannot compete on the global stage with a team of average at best players. Yes we can applaud Gayle's batting but look at the pop gun attack he is facing. Mills is bowling at 121kph. I fear for NZ cricket and think that it is going to take a very long time to remedy this situation, which if we are being honest has been a common theme since the Fleming days.

  • Beau on July 8, 2012, 23:43 GMT

    Much better from NZ, but Gayle is just too good at the moment. Makes it pretty difficult to judge the bowling, but it seems Oram is the weak(est) link. That's OK if he's bowling 4 or 5, but not 10. Boult for one of the spinners?

  • Clayton on July 8, 2012, 23:43 GMT

    Why isn't Wagner in there? I know he was expensive in domestic cricket...but a scorching and intimidating spell of nasty fast bowling is exactly what NZ needs right now and would be a real point of difference between the two sides. The batting unit minus McCullum, Taylor and Ryder is going to struggle to chase 300...so we need someone who can scare the WI batsman and induce poor shots. Mills and Southee will be far more effective with a 145km + demon steaming in from the other end...

  • Dummy4 on July 8, 2012, 22:49 GMT

    NZ did put up a good fight. WI can't afford to get complacent. And yes, to restrict WI to 69 runs in the last 10ovs, with Samuels firing was a solid effort. Hope they can be as competitive in the remaining 3 ODIs. Advantage WI though.

  • Kevin on July 8, 2012, 20:24 GMT

    Of course, get Gayle out... ...now why didn't I think of that??? Brilliant. Now there's just the small matter of HOW?? At the moment it looks like he could massacre this attack batting with a toothpick.

  • Dummy4 on July 8, 2012, 19:03 GMT

    Do more?!?! Ryder, McCullum, Guptill, Taylor, Franklin, Oram, Bracewell, Vettori, Nathan McCullum, Boult, Southee... This is what needs to be done!

  • michael on July 8, 2012, 18:06 GMT

    WI are three leagues higher than NZ. NZ are just not at the same level. Forever claiming, inexperience and injuries, but it just doesn't wear anymore. NZ has to go back to the drawing boards and invest in a new generation.

  • trevor on July 8, 2012, 15:37 GMT

    West Indies are winning, this is a good thing.Led by the powerful bat of CHGayle,players with the class of Samuels, Bravo Smith & Co are showing the way. Gayles presence has been the missing link no doubt in this team. The team will be tested if & when Chris goes early,Smith, Samuels, Sammy & Co. will be asked to show their mettle not just as individual players but as a team.Narine,s front foot no ball is a NO NO,then he goes for a Six. Good bowler that he is, this is unforgivable. These errors cause matches to be lost.Windies must look to bring back young Powell if Simmons continues to fail; He can learn a lot from batting with Cgayle.Windies must keep the pressure on NZ; Winning is contagious, I see it as the start of something good.WI can & will beat Australia the next time they meet.The talent, cohesiveness led by Gayle, Sammy, will be in evident.

  • joel on July 8, 2012, 9:12 GMT

    Samuels had one eye on a century, so wasn't trying to push the scoring rate. Instead he left the job to the incoming batsmen. Pollard and Bravo fell trying to do just that, but Sammy managed to middle a few shots. Had he not done so, WI would have fallen short of 300, which could have left a potential banana-skin total. WI could have been in the embarrassing situation of having two centurions and losing a match FOR THE SECOND TIME!!! Also, for the second match in a row, Narine has committed the almost unforgivable sin of a SPINNER bowling a front-foot no-ball. To compound the error, he then goes for a SIX! He has had enough IPL experience to be able to bowl defensively when the need arises, so should have been able to concede just a single off those subsequent deliveries.

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