First Twenty20 International

New Zealand v West Indies 2008-09

Don Cameron

At Auckland, December 26, 2008 (floodlit). West Indies won after an eliminator over, following a tie. Toss: New Zealand. Twenty20 international debuts: L. S. Baker, C. S. Baugh, S. E. Findlay.

The teams repeated the tie from their only previous Twenty20 international meeting, on this same ground almost three years previously, but this time the deadlock was broken by the first instance of an eliminator or "super over" rather than the bowl-out which ended in New Zealand's favour in 2005-06. The respective totals were built around Ross Taylor's 63 from 50 balls and Gayle's 67 from 41: Gayle hit five sixes and Taylor four. The slower bowlers were the most effective. Benn and Gayle took three wickets in seven overs between them for 36, while Vettori and Patel claimed five for 50 from their eight. Vettori (4-0-16-3 in the main match) chose to bowl the deciding super over, only to be mauled for 25 - including three more sixes - by Gayle. It was too much for New Zealand, who were ten behind when Benn took their second designated wicket. The captains' opinions of the new regulation were understandably different. "The game's called Twenty20, it's not called One1," was Vettori's take. But Gayle thought it was "the best oneover match I've ever played".

Man of the Match: C. H. Gayle.

© John Wisden & Co.