It was the first match of the 2-match T20 series at Roseau. It was a slightly different looking West Indian squad which took on New Zealand. And for yet another time, we witnessed West Indian disappointment. Rain also played a part in the match and reduced the match to an 18-over a side game. New Zealand won the toss and opted to field first in the match.
As expected, it was Dwayne Smith and Lendl Simmons who opened the innings for the West Indies. Both of them had a terrific IPL season and Dwayne Smith was in the run for the Orange Cap throughout the tournament. For New Zealand, it was their best bowler, Tim Southee, who opened the proceedings. Both the West Indian openers required to produce perfect starts for their team so that West Indies could reach a huge total. But the West Indies were inflicted a blow in the very second over of their innings, which was delivered in by in-form Trent Boult. Simmons was dismissed at a score of 1.
In the very next over, Southee took Smith’s wicket and West Indies were put into a huge trouble with 2 down for just 10 runs on the board. Then all the responsibility fell upon the middle order in the likes of Andre Fletcher and Darren Bravo. But for a sad note, rain intervened the play in the 4th over and it was an hour till the play resumed again and the match was reduced to 18-overs a side. Fletcher and Bravo carried on the West Indian innings steadily and smacked every bowlers for boundaries.
They made an 88 run partnership when Bravo was dismissed by Corey Anderson in the 13th over and West Indies were 98 for the loss of 3 wickets. This decreased the run rate. The 3rd wicket was followed by a 4th in the 15th over and it was a wicket on debut for Ish Sodhi and that too a major one. He dismissed Fletcher, who was looking promising at the crease. Fletcher scored 52 runs off 39 balls with 1 four and 4 sixes. Finally, at the end of 18 overs, West Indies reached a total of 132 runs. Southee was the pick of the Bowlers for the kiwis with 2 wickets in his 4 overs by conceding just 20 runs.
So, it was the time for the New Zealand chase. It was Williamson and Neesham who opened the proceedings for the Kiwis and Badree opened the bowling for West Indies. But it was Krishnmar Santokie, who provided the much needed breakthrough for the West Indies in the second over and Neesham was dismissed. McCullum came in next and started smacking the ball for boundaries. New Zealand was keeping their scoring rate in pace with the par score of the D/L method as rain could come again in no time.
Williamson assisted him well but he was dismissed in the 9th over and New Zealand were 66 for the loss of 2 wickets at the end of 9 overs. Ross Taylor came in next and he too started to attack right from the start. Finally, in the 13th over of the innings McCullum was dismissed by Sammy but the job was almost done. McCullum scored 40 runs off 35 deliveries with 3 fours and a six. Corey Anderson came in next and he made a quick 15 runs. At the end of the 15th over, rain came in again and New Zealand were at the stage 117 for the loss of 4 wickets and they were ahead of the par score by 12 runs.
There were no further play and thus New Zealand were the winners of the game. Woes for West Indies continue and they have to bounce back strongly to save the series.
Fletcher was adjourned as the man of the match.