Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Glenn Phillips and Colin Munro hammered 55 and 53 respectively as New Zealand crushed the West Indies by 47 runs in the first Twenty20 International in Nelson.
West Indies captain Carlos Brathwaite would have been pleased with his decision to bowl first as Jerome Taylor trapped New Zealand opener Martin Guptill lbw for five runs on the ninth ball of the match.
Munro and Phillips made up for the early loss of Guptill with an 86-run partnership, during which Munro brought up his fifty.
Image courtesy of: Zimbio
However, shortly after doing so, he was dismissed by Ashley Nurse for 53, which came off 37 balls and included six boundaries and two sixes.
Phillips went on to score 55 off 40 deliveries, which included four boundaries and two sixes, before he was clean bowled by Samuel Badree.
Tom Bruce, debutant Anaru Kitchen, Ross Taylor and Doug Bracewell proceeded to be removed in quick time, but Mitchell Santner smashed an 11-ball 23 to help the Black Caps finish on 187/7.
Taylor and Brathwaite picked up two wickets apiece, while Badree, Nurse and Kesrick Williams chipped in with one wicket each.
Chasing 188 to win, the West Indies were dealt a double blow in the third over as debutant Seth Rance took out Chris Gayle and Chadwick Walton in successive deliveries.
Andre Fletcher and Shai Hope steadied things with a 42-run stand before Fletcher was stumped by Phillips off the bowling of Ish Sodhi for 27.
The West Indies began to crumble after Fletcher’s dismissal. Even though Brathwaite, Nurse and Taylor made 21, 20 and 20 respectively, it was not enough to save their side as they were bowled out for 140.
Rance and stand-in captain Tim Southee took three wickets apiece, while Bracewell snapped up two, and Santner and Sodhi claimed one wicket each.
Brathwaite was disappointed to have lost, and said: “Credit to the opposition for bowling well and showing discipline on the field. They stopped us from going for the big shots and congratulations to them. We bowled well for 19 overs. But it happens. Kesrick Williams has been the best bowler in the world this calendar year.
“We never really got going with the bat. A 10-run over would have given us some momentum at the backend. It’s impossible to improve our skill set in two or three days. We’ve had a good run in this format so far. We need to start 2018 well. We have some good days and bad days. Unfortunately we haven’t had too many good days on this tour.”
Southee was impressed with his side’s performance, and said: “The way we fielded and bowled today was exceptional. We didn’t lose wickets when it was tough. Guys chipped in all the way down. The last over was some great bit of momentum going into our innings.
“The beauty of bowling second is you get 20 overs to see what works well. For Seth to come in and pick up a couple of wickets was really good. I enjoyed the captaincy. Obviously a pretty clinical performance which made things easier.”
Phillips was named Man of the Match, and said: “The pitch was a little bit slower than we expected it to be. Credit to West Indies for bowling well. It took four-five overs to figure out that we needed to get under it a little more. Munro was really good out there, it was all about going one ball at a time.
“It was one of those days when we went out and what we did came off pretty good. It was a pretty complete performance. Unless our openers get off to a flier and you come in with six overs to spare or something, batting in the middle is pretty much the same as opening.”