Southee rues loss of key moments
New Zealand fast bowler Tim Southee, who took 3 for 53 on Saturday, has said the loss of wickets "at the wrong time" cost his side the match in St Kitts, and that they needed to learn how to win the key moments in games. New Zealand fell 24 runs short of West Indies' 264, despite a century by their captain Ross Taylor, and conceded the one-day series 3-1 with a match in hand.
New Zealand's chase, shaken by the loss of four wickets for 75 runs, was held together by Taylor's 110. Taylor added 71 runs for the fifth wicket with middle-order batsman Tom Latham before Latham was dismissed by offspinner Marlon Samuels in the 34th over. New Zealand faltered in the final stages, the last four wickets falling for 21 runs as Taylor ran out of support.
"We lost a couple of wickets early and then had to rebuild, and Tom Latham and Ross did a great job," Southee said. "It was a shame to lose Tom [but] we did and it would have been nice to have that extra wicket going into those latter overs. Wickets at the wrong time hurt us, [so] we have to think of ways [of not losing] those key moments in games. [We lost] wickets in the middle there and towards the end. [The] back-end of five-six overs didn't come out so well in the end."
Southee said Taylor's performance was impressive because of the manner in which he structured his innings. He was slow at the start to settle in, and took 80 deliveries to get to his fifty, but later accelerated his scoring, getting his next fifty runs off 28 deliveries.
"Ross paced his innings and ended run-a-ball; he's one of those batsmen that can do that. No matter how slow a start, he has the ability to catch up, and he played extremely well. It's just a shame that there wasn't someone else who could stick with him and make it a lot easier in the end."
New Zealand could have been chasing less than 264 had their bowlers capitalised on their incisive start, having reduced West Indies to 105 for 5 in the 27th over. They faced resistance from Kieron Pollard, who made a half-century, and Devon Thomas. They scored 53 runs in five overs during the batting Powerplay between overs 36 and 40, and the following batsmen picked up from there.
"We did well at the start to get them four-five down early but the Powerplay hurt us and [at] the death we bowled hit-and-miss," Southee said.
Southee had contributed to West Indies' top order collapse by dismissing Gayle and Dwayne Smith. Gayle had led West Indies to one-sided wins in the two Twenty20s and the first two ODIs, with scores of 85 not out, 53, 63 not out and 125, but he hasn't fired in his last two innings, making only 27 runs in total.
"The first few games we didn't bowl very well to him [Gayle] at the start and he got in and played some great innings," Southee said. "So it's important how we bowl to him in the first few overs."
The final ODI on July 16, also in St Kitts, will be a dead rubber because West Indies secured the series with this win. Southee, however, said winning that fixture would lift New Zealand ahead of the three-Test series, which begins on August 2.
"It's still a big game for us, obviously. It's better losing 3-2 than 4-1 and hopefully we can gain some momentum going into the Tests for the Test side. [The loss] hurts but we'll dust ourselves off and come again on Monday."