New Zealand vs West Indies 1st ODI: Sammy’s scintillating innings saves West Indies

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Sammy’s blazing knock of 43 helped the West Indies salvage a two-wicket win

West Indies all-rounder Darren Sammy smashed a trailblazing 43 to save his side from being humiliated in their chase of 157 during the first ODI against New Zealand in Auckland.

Sammy was well supported by captain Dwayne Bravo, who picked up four wickets.

Bravo won the toss and chose to bowl first.

His decision paid off almost immediately as opening batsman Jesse Ryder, who was playing in his first international match in 22 months, was brilliantly caught by Darren Bravo at cover point off the bowling of Ravi Rampaul for a duck.

Ryder’s opening partner, Martin Guptill, who was also returning to international cricket after a few months off, failed to make an impact as well as he was given out lbw off the bowling of Rampaul for just two runs.

After scoring 495 runs at an eye-popping average of 247.50 in the recently concluded Test series, Ross Taylor failed to have the same kind of success as he was run out for just three runs.

Things went from bad to worse for New Zealand as Kane Williamson could only amass eight runs before being caught behind off the bowling of Jason Holder.

All-rounder Corey Anderson only scored 13 runs before hitting a delivery from Dwayne Bravo straight to Lendl Simmons at long-off.

Wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi could only make seven runs before being caught by Johnson Charles at long-on off the bowling of Sunil Narine.

Following Ronchi’s dismissal, New Zealand’s entire lower order collapsed.

New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum scored a much-needed 51 off 57 balls, which included five boundaries and a six, before he was given out lbw off the bowling of Bravo.

McCullum reviewed the decision right away, but replays showed that the ball was clipping leg stump, which led to the third umpire upholding the original decision.

Following the departure of one McCullum, it was time for the other to step up.

Nathan McCullum smashed 47 off 64 balls, which included two boundaries and three sixes, before being caught by Darren Bravo at deep fine leg off the bowling of Holder.

Bravo was the pick of the West Indian bowlers with four wickets, while Rampaul and Holder snapped up two wickets apiece and Narine chipped in with one as New Zealand were bowled out for a dismal 156.

Chasing a straightforward target of 157 to win, the West Indies got off to a poor start as opening batsman Kieran Powell was clean bowled by Mitchell McClenaghan for only four runs.

Charles was the next to go as he too was cleaned up by McClenaghan.

Darren Bravo could only amass 14 runs before he was caught by Williamson at short point to become McClenaghan’s third victim of the match.

McClenaghan continued to torment the West Indies as he dismissed Dwayne Bravo lbw for 12.

Bravo reviewed the decision, but the replays showed nothing wrong and the third umpire did not hesitate in upholding the original decision.

Lendl Simmons managed to score 34 runs before being caught by Taylor at first slip off the bowling of Kyle Mills.

Mills struck again in his next over as he clean bowled Narsingh Deonarine for just six runs.

Following Deonarine’s dismissal, the West Indies’ lower order collapsed.

However, they were not down and out just yet as Sammy came to the rescue with an unbeaten 43 off just 27 balls, which included five boundaries and three sixes.

Sammy’s outstanding knock gave the West Indies a two-wicket win and a 1-0 lead in the series.

McClenaghan picked up his maiden five-wicket haul and recorded a career-best five wickets for 58 runs, while Mills snapped up two wickets and James Neesham chipped in with one.

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