West Indies v New Zealand, 1st T20, Roseau July 5, 2014

New Zealand win rain-hit contest


New Zealand 117 for 4 (McCullum 40, Sammy 3-22) beat West Indies 132 for 8 in 18 overs (Fletcher 52, Southee 2-20) by 12 runs on D/L method
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Dominica's inaugural Twenty20 international was a damp affair, with an ever-present drizzle dousing the intensity of the contest that New Zealand claimed to ensure at least a share of the spoils in the two-match series. There was only one stoppage, which made it an 18-overs a-side rubber, but persistent showers greased both ball and outfield, nullifying West Indies' potent spin attack to facilitate a largely clinical chase.

West Indies were 22 for 2 in five overs when play was interrupted, and the hosts were unable to achieve the desired acceleration after the resumption and at the end of the innings. Chasing a below-par target, New Zealand suffered no such problems and were always ahead of the game. When the umpires finally decided that rain and poor light had made conditions unfit to continue after 15 overs, New Zealand were 12 runs ahead of the D/L equation.

The New Zealand new-ball attack backed Brendon McCullum's decision to bowl, striking in successive overs to reduce West Indies to 10 for 2 by the third over. Lendl Simmons was lbw to one from Boult that bent in to hit pad before bat, and Dwayne Smith dragged Southee's short ball from outside off to deep backward square leg. Darren Bravo and Andre Fletcher had just come together when rain forced the players off for 90 minutes.

West Indies enjoyed their best period of the game immediately after the resumption, Fletcher lofting Boult over long-on for six in the sixth over. The debutant Ish Sodhi came on in the ninth and Bravo launched his first ball cleanly over the straight boundary. There was more tap for Sodhi, with Fletcher carting him straight for a four and a six and running hard between wickets to take 14 off the 11th over. Fletcher enjoyed some fortune in the next over, when he was caught at cover of a no-ball from Southee, and then he hit Corey Anderson for consecutive sixes, but the slump was around the corner.

The home side lost six wickets in the next six overs and scored only 34 off the last five, with the batsmen unable to get the better of clever changes of pace, especially from Southee who bowled several bouncers at varying pace. Bravo top-edged a short ball from Anderson to the keeper to end an 88-run stand for the third wicket, and Sodhi picked up his maiden wicket when Fletcher, on 52, miscued a slog to short third man. Darren Sammy, Andre Russell and Kieron Pollard, all capable of hitting the ball far, could not inflict serious damage at the death and fell in successive overs.

The drizzle was a constant presence during the chase, but it never got heavy enough to take the players off. The ball was dry for the first over, and Samuel Badree bowled quick and accurately to concede only two. Jimmy Neesham hinted at the damage he could cause in his new role as opener when he wasted no time in lofting and driving Krishmar Santokie down the ground for six and a four, before inside-edging another forceful shot on to his stumps.

Badree had bowled 11 economical balls before sliding one down leg. Kane Williamson paddled it for four and that was the start of a 53-run stand with McCullum that laid the foundation for victory. McCullum played the lead role, attacking Santokie to take 17 off the fifth over. As he blazed shots through cover, midwicket and down the ground to take New Zealand well past the D/L par score, the spectators huddled under tents to get out of the rain.

Williamson fell to a sharp caught and bowled by Sammy immediately after chipping a straight boundary, but Ross Taylor picked up where Williamson had left off. He laid into Russell, lofting sixes over long-on and long-off, and pulling for four, ensuring New Zealand did not stumble a wee bit even when McCullum fell with 39 to get off 33 balls.

The game ended in miserable conditions and the players will hope that the weather would be more favourable for the decider on Sunday.

George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on July 6, 2014, 16:39 GMT

    The West Indies selectors should have adapted the same policy as the New Zealanders by retaining the nucleus of the players who participated in the test series. TheT20 specialists had peaked during the IPL season and are now out of form as it were. On the other hand the test players were in better cricketing form as the scores revealed.

    Additionally I cannot understand why we keep hosting teams in the rainy season and not in the dry season! is it because of the IPL?

  • Android on July 6, 2014, 14:03 GMT

    Russell, Sammy, Polard too many bits and pieces players. WI need to get proper batsmen and at least one Good pace bowler

  • Narine on July 6, 2014, 13:53 GMT

    Andre Russel is all talk and NO action, poor bowling figures

  • ESPN on July 6, 2014, 10:59 GMT

    Michael Kent. McCullum scored a century, a double century and a triple century in tests last summer. He be in my test team

  • ESPN on July 6, 2014, 10:40 GMT

    I don't see the problem with Mcullum not scoring runs (not that he is anyway) cause he makes up for it with his captaincy which is up there with Clarke for attacking field changes,bowling changes etc. And as long as NZ are winning then who should care if he isn't scoring a ton every game?

  • luke on July 6, 2014, 10:39 GMT

    @Michael Kent, last 15 tests ,25 innings, 1 NO*, 1126 runs, HS 302, 46.91 ave, 3 fifties, 3 hundreds 113,224,302. Won 5, Drawn 7, Lost 3.Thats 3 series wins 2 draws and 1 loss, All as captain not to bad buddy, but i do agree he is not as consistent as he could or should be but i think any captain would take those numbers

  • Dummy4 on July 6, 2014, 9:44 GMT

    in his last 15 tests hes hit a 50+ score every 4.33 innings with a 50% conversion rate into centuries. most of the greats score 50+ every 3 innings or so and have conversion rates around the 30-40% mark. B Mac isnt by any stretch of the imagination considered a great but his recent stats are very good

  • Dummy4 on July 6, 2014, 9:17 GMT

    @Michael Kent - 113 1st test against WI 13/14, 224 1st test against india 13/14, 302 2nd test against india 13/14. hes averaging around 45 for his last 15 tests. yeah sure hes not scoring big every innings but hes definitely contributing heavily whether its with the bat or as captain...its a team game he cant be expected to carry every innings.

  • Dummy4 on July 6, 2014, 7:29 GMT

    @ Alex Hose' The problem is his total inconsistancy and unreliabilty. He hits up a decent score only every 6-7th innings and this is insufficient for a batsman. I think you've given him an extra century in your statisiccs.

  • jared on July 6, 2014, 6:38 GMT

    it just looks all too easy at the moment for these black caps, the windies just have no intensity in there game at all, they just look to be cruising, hoping things will go their way instead of making it go their way, i know the caribean has a reputation for being laid back but the windies players take this reputation way too litterally when they play, they just look lazy and disinterested, its actually horrible to watch, they clearly have talent but they look like they lack any real desire, such a waste, all credit to nz they deserve to win but the windies could be so much better.

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