Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Following their heart-breaking 12-run loss via the Duckworth-Lewis method in the first Twenty20 International, the West Indies fought back with a 39-run victory against New Zealand in the second Twenty20 International in Dominica.
West Indies batsman Andre Fletcher was the hero of the match as he scored his second consecutive half-century to ensure the hosts ended the series as a 1-1 draw.
New Zealand stand-in captain Kane Williamson would have been pleased with his decision to bowl first after West Indies opener Dwayne Smith was clean bowled by Tim Southee for nine runs.
Lendl Simmons and Andre Fletcher made up for the early loss of Smith with a 66-run partnership before Simmons was caught by Corey Anderson off the bowling of Ish Sodhi for 36.
Darren Bravo only made 14 runs before he was cleaned up by Williamson.
Kieron Pollard mustered 13 runs before he was brilliantly caught by Trent Boult at deep midwicket off the bowling of Anderson.
Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Fletcher went on to make 62 off 49 balls, which included three boundaries and three sixes, before he had his stumps shattered by Boult.
West Indies captain Darren Sammy made a quickfire 10 before he was caught by Anderson at long-on off the bowling of Boult.
Thanks to Fletcher’s half-century, the West Indies finished on 165/6 off their 20 overs.
Boult was the pick of the bowlers with two wickets, while Sodhi, Williamson, Southee and Anderson chipped in with one wicket apiece.
Chasing 166 to win, New Zealand got off to a terrible start as opening batsman James Neesham was caught by Bravo at point off the bowling of Sheldon Cottrell for seven runs.
Brendon McCullum managed to make 21 runs before he was caught by Simmons at cover off the bowling of Samuel Badree.
Williamson scored a fluent 37 before he was clean bowled by Pollard.
Ross Taylor accumulated 21 runs before he was beaten all ends up by a delivery from Sunil Narine.
Wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi made 12 runs before he was caught by Andre Russell at long-off off the bowling of Narine.
BJ Watling failed to have an impact with the bat as he was run out by Sammy for one run.
Anderson hit 14 runs before he was caught by Sammy at long-on off the bowling of Cottrell.
Cottrell struck again five balls later when Tom Latham guided a delivery straight to Bravo at backward point.
Southee scored two runs before he was caught by Cottrell at short fine leg off the bowling of Russell.
New Zealand were bowled out for 126 when Boult was run out by Bravo for five runs.
Cottrell was the most successful bowler with three wickets, while Narine snapped up two and Badree, Russell and Pollard claimed one wicket each.
Williamson was disappointed with New Zealand’s performance, and said: “It wasn’t a strong performance from us and West Indies played really well. At the halfway stage, we thought we did reasonably well but we lost our way with the bat. They took wickets at key times and made it difficult in the late overs. It was a nice opportunity and I am sure Baz will be looking forward to it in the near future.”
Sammy was ecstatic to have ended the series as a 1-1 draw, and said: “Dominica is setting the tone for the rest of the caribbean (with crowd support). Today, it was an equal playing field. We batted well, congrats to Fletcher, and when we bowled, we did what we have been doing in T20 cricket. If you notice, we won the WC in Sri Lanka, the pitches were similar to here. We do well in these conditions. We have the two best spinners in the world. I would like to wish the New Zealand team a safe journey home.”
Fletcher was named Man of the Match and Man of the Series, and said: “I am very happy. It’s good to get a half-century and the team won too. The wicket was much better today. It’s a great feeling. I just hope I continue to do my best.”