Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum smashed an entertaining 40 to lead his side to a 12-run win over the West Indies via the Duckworth-Lewis method in a rain-hit showdown in Dominica.
However, West Indies batsman Andre Fletcher deserves a lot of credit as well as he scored a valiant half-century.
McCullum would have been ecstatic with his decision to bowl first after West Indies opener Lendl Simmons was given out lbw off the bowling of Trent Boult for one run.
Dwayne Smith only made eight runs before he was caught by BJ Watling at deep midwicket off the bowling of Tim Southee.
Just a short while later, the heavens parted and the players were ushered off the field.
After a 90-minute delay, the match finally resumed. However, it was cut down to 18 over per side.
Darren Bravo and Fletcher stabilised the innings with an 88-run partnership before Bravo was caught behind off the bowling of Corey Anderson for 30.
Fletcher went on to score 52 off 39 balls, which included one boundary and four sixes, before he was caught by Boult at short third man off the bowling of debutant Ish Sodhi.
Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
West Indies captain Darren Sammy only made 10 runs before he was caught by Southee at short third man off the bowling of Boult.
Andre Russell could only muster one run before he was caught by Ross Taylor off the bowling of Anderson.
Kieron Pollard, who was playing in his first international match since July 2013, managed to make 16 runs before he was caught by Anderson at deep midwicket off the bowling of Southee.
Wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin was dismissed on the last ball of the innings when he was run out by James Neesham for one run.
Thanks to Fletcher’s half-century, the West Indies finished on 132/8 off their 18 overs.
Boult and Southee picked up two wickets apiece, while Sodhi chipped in with one.
Chasing 133 to win, New Zealand got off to a horrible start as Neesham was clean bowled by Krishmar Santokie for 11.
Kane Williamson and McCullum made up for the early loss of Neesham with a 53-run partnership before Williamson was caught and bowled by Sammy for 19.
McCullum ended up scoring 40 off 35 balls, which included three boundaries and a six, before he was caught by Smith at deep square leg off the bowling of Sammy.
Anderson made a quickfire 15 before he was caught by Sunil Narine at short fine leg to become Sammy’s third victim of the match.
At the end of the 15th over, the rain returned and New Zealand were declared the victors as they were on 117, which was 12 runs ahead of what they needed to be on at the end of the 15th over.
Taylor was unbeaten on 28 off 20 balls, which included one boundary and two sixes, while Luke Ronchi did not get off the mark.
Sammy was the most successful bowler with three wickets, while Santokie claimed one.
Sammy was disappointed to have lost the match, and said: “We still backed our bowlers to defend, but the conditions didn’t allow us to do it. The most important thing in cricket is the ball, and the conditions made it very difficult to grip.”
McCullum was disgusted with the “unacceptable” conditions, and said: “The wicket, with the rain on it, it was hard to tell if it was going to kiss off it or sit on it.”
Fletcher was named Man of the Match for his brilliant half-century.