Improved New Zealand must do more - Watling
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.