West Indies have claimed a two-nil victory in their Twenty20 series against the BLACKCAPS, wrapping up the second match with a 61 run win at Central Broward Regional Park in Florida.
The West Indies once again showed raw power in their display at the crease, with Chris Gayle leading the home side on their way to 177 for five. New Zealand on the other hand were well off the pace, all out for 116 after 18.4 overs.
Despite the loss it was a proud day for Kane Williamson, with the 21 year-old being named as stand-in captain for the injured Ross Taylor.
It was a far superior performance in the field to that of the first Twenty20 for the BLACKCAPS, although their batting display still left a lot to be desired.
The starting XI had three changes from the previous Twenty20 with Taylor, Jacob Oram and Ronnie Hira all out to injury. Kyle Mills, Daniel Flynn and Andrew Ellis replaced the injured trio.
The other casualty from yesterday’s match was the big hitting Kieron Pollard, with the absence of the West Indies all-rounder a welcome one for the BLACKCAPS.
The West Indies opted to bat after winning the toss and got off to a dynamic start. Dwayne Smith whacked two sixes in the first over in a replica of yesterday’s match.
Smith went soon after, but the key wicket of Gayle remained and once again proved troublesome for the BLACKCAPS.
Gayle and Johnson Charles put on 62 for the second wicket and set the platform for the West Indies to post a big total.
New Zealand though fought back somewhat, managing to dismiss Charles for 36 (32 balls), before Nathan McCullum grabbed the crucial wicket of Gayle for 53 (39 balls). It had been a spectacular innings, but the BLACKCAPS would have been relieved to see the back of the heavy hitting left-hander before the real fireworks began.
At 124 for four the West Indies were looking vulnerable, but Dwayne Bravo came in and proceeded to take the game away from the BLACKCAPS.
Bravo launched a vicious attack on the New Zealand bowlers, blazing four sixes into the crowd on his way to a rapid 35 from 11 balls.
His contribution ensured that it would be a difficult chase for New Zealand, who would once again have to try keep up with a high run-rate.
It proved to be a task too big, as the BLACKCAPS failed to establish any meaningful partnerships.
Martin Guptill, Flynn and Doug Bracewell all managed to clear the boundary on occasion, but never managed to pose a serious threat to the West Indies total. Flynn would finish top scorer with 22.
Right-arm offbreak bowler Sunil Narine was simply superb for the home side and finished with the outstanding figures of four for 12 from four overs.
Backed up by some superb fielding, the West Indies bowlers made light work of the New Zealand batting line-up and finished off the job by dismissing their opponents still 62 run short of their target.
It was another below-par performance from the New Zealand side, who will need to utilise their four day break ahead of the first ODI.
There’s a lot of work to do in that time, as the BLACKCAPS look to turn around their start to the tour and mount a serious threat in the 50-over and Test formats.