NZ End Drought With Win by 36 Runs Over West Indies

New Zealand ended a run of eight Twenty20 cricket defeats tonight, beating West Indies by 36 runs in in Hamilton to square their two-match series 1-1.

West Indies won the first match in Auckland on Friday via the "one-over eliminator" method, used as a tiebreaker after both sides scored 155.

After New Zealand scored 191 for nine, the West Indies were restricted to 155 for seven by some sharp fielding and bowling bu the Blacks Caps.

The visitors were on the back foot when they lost captain and first game hero Chris Gayle for one in the second over.

New Zealand openers Jesse Ryder and Brendon McCullum scored 62 and 59 respectively, sharing an opening stand of 130 to set up the win.

Their total was a New Zealand record for any wicket in a Twenty20 match.

McCullum showed glimpses of his expertise as he struck six boundaries and four sixes in his 34-ball stay.

Ryder, who was dropped on 16 and 49, matched him for aggression, smacking three sixes and showed some deft touches to collect seven boundaries for his 62 in 41 balls.

McCullum looked untroubled until he mistimed a shot to cover off Gayle's spin, giving Shivnarine Chanderpaul a catch just above the grass.

That sparked a collapse as Ross Taylor, Ryder, Daniel Flynn, Jacob Oram and Daniel Vettori came and went with just 34 runs added in as many balls.

Taylor, who scored 63 in the opener at Eden Park, was brilliantly caught by Xavier Marshall on the boundary for six off Kieron Pollard.

Marshall threw himself to make a two-handed diving catch at the mid-wicket boundary that also prevented a certain six runs.

Ryder went three balls later when he was caught at long on by Ramnaresh Sarwan off Gayle leaving New Zealand at 142-3 in the 14th over.

James Franklin with 20 off 11 balls shored up the innings and when Tim Southee departed, run out off the last ball of the innings, West Indies were left to make 192 for the win.

Gayle, Jerome Taylor and Pollard took two wickets each.

West Indies needed 9.6 runs per over to overhaul New Zealand's total but they got off the a poor start with Gayle quickly falling victim to Ewen Thompson who produced a wicket maiden in his debut over in international cricket.

Ramnaresh Sarwan, 53, Kieron Pollard, 38 and Denesh Ramdin, 30, provided some resistance but New Zealand countered with tight bowling and top fielding to reduce scoring opportunities.

Vettori took two for 19 and Jeetan Patel slammed the door on the West Indies with a double wicket maiden in the final over.

Gayle said his side had a disappointing start and then put down a few chances.

"Brendon and Jesse batted really well and took the game away from us by setting it up for the batters to come."

Vettori said he was happy with tonight's complete team performance.

"It was very good, bar four or five overs of batting."

The teams now prepare for the first of five one-day matches at Queenstown on Wednesday.

NZPA

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