ROSEAU, Dominica, CMC – Andre Fletcher’s second half-century in as many days paired with Sheldon Cottrell’s incisive three-wicket burst, propelled West Indies to a 39-run victory over New Zealand and a share of the two-match Twenty20 series here yesterday.
Sent in at Windsor Park, West Indies rallied to 165 for six off 20 overs, thanks mainly to Fletcher’s top score of 62 off 49 deliveries, and Lendl Simmons’s 36.
In reply, New Zealand crashed from a healthy position of 82 for two in the 12th over to a disappointing 126 all out with five balls left, as Cottrell snatched three for 28 from 3.1 overs.
Kane Williamson top scored with 37 from 28 balls while captain Brendon McCullum and Ross Taylor both hit 21.
The victory by the Darren Sammy-led side left Windies fans with something to celebrate following the frustration of the Test series loss last week and the defeat in the first T20I on Saturday here.
Dwayne Smith crunched two fours off the first over from seamer Tim Southee but had his stumps rattled in the bowler’s third over for nine, with the score on ten.
It paved the way for an enterprising second wicket stand between Fletcher and Simmoms, which proved the bedrock of the innings.
Fletcher, looking in great touch, counting three fours and three sixes while Simmons was fluent, striking the ball cleanly in gathering three fours and two sixes.
Following a quiet start, Fletcher exploded with a flicked boundary off seamer Jimmy Neesham and then a six over mid-wicket, in the bowler’s first over that cost 11 runs.
Simmons followed suit in the next over from left-arm pacer Trent Boult, slicing a six over backward point before depositing medium pacer Corey Anderson over the ropes at backward square and then driving him sweetly for another four, in the bowler’s second over which went for 11 runs.
The introduction of leg-spinner Ish Sodhi in the next over led to Simmons’s downfall, as he holed out to long on where Anderson pulled off a brilliant catch on the ropes.
Darren Bravo, surviving a skied chance to Neesham at mid-off off Sodhi on three, capitalised to smash a straight four and a six over mid-wicket in the same over, the 13th of the innings, that leaked 13 runs.
He was bowled by Williamson for ten, however, at 98 for three in the 14th over but Fletcher kept the innings going, clearing the ropes at long off with Southee to move into the 40s before going over long on with Anderson for his third six a few overs later.
With help from a few lusty blows from Kieron Pollard (13) and Sammy (10), Fletcher helped West Indies gather 56 runs off the last five overs. He perished in the penultimate over, bowled by a full length delivery from Boult (2-22).
Cottrell then struck in the second over of the Black Caps innings, getting Neesham caught at point by Bravo off a full toss for seven with the score on eight.
Williamson then anchored two stands to lift the Black Caps, adding 32 for the second wicket with McCullum and another 42 with Taylor for the third wicket.
He struck five fours but his demise, bowled off his thigh by Pollard in the 12th over, triggered a slide which saw the last eight New Zealand wickets tumble for just 44 runs.
Narine took care of the threatening Taylor, bowled in the 13th over at 88 for four and when Luke Ronchi holed out in the deep off Narine and BJ Watling was run out for one same over, the 17th of the innings, the Windies were on top.
Fletcher was voted Man-of-the-Match and Man-of-the-Series.
In Saturday’s match, Fletcher’s second half-century in Twenty20 Internationals was in vain as West Indies by 12 runs under the Duckworth/Lewis method.
Sent in, the Windies mustered 132 for eight in a match reduced to 18 overs per side because of rain, with the right-handed Fletcher striking the top score of 52 from 39 balls.
In reply, the Black Caps had reached 117 for four after 15 overs, when bad light stopped play.
The end proved anticlimactic as the game was shaping up for an interesting finish, with the visitors needing 16 runs from 18 balls.
Captain McCullum top scored with 40 from 35 balls while the enterprising Taylor was unbeaten on 28 from 20 deliveries.
Captain Sammy, in his first game for the Windies since being axed as Test captain, finished with three for 23 from his three overs.
Earlier, West Indies were off to a poor start, losing both openers cheaply to stumble to ten for two in the third over.
D Smith b Southee 9
L Simmons c Anderson b Sodhi 36
A Fletcher b Boult 6
D Bravo b Williamson 14
K Pollard c Boult b Anderson 13
*D Sammy c Anderson b Boult 10
A Russell not out 14
+D Ramdin not out 2
Extras (w5) 5
TOTAL (6 wkts, 20 overs) 165
Fall of wickets: 1-10 (Smith, 2.1 overs), 2-76 (Simmons, 10.5), 3-98 (Bravo, 13.3), 4-126 (Pollard, 17.2), 5-147 (Fletcher, 18.2), 6-148 (Sammy, 18.4)
Bowling: Southee 4-0-34-1 (w1), Boult 4-1-22-2 (w2), Neesham 4-0-31-0, Anderson 4-0-51-1, Sodhi 2-0-16-1, Williamson 2-0-11-1 (w1)
K Williamson b Pollard 37
J Neesham c Bravo b Cottrell 7
*B McCullum c Simmons b Badree 21
R Taylor b Narine 21
C Anderson c Sammy b Cottrell 14
+L Ronchi c Russell b Narine 12
BJ Watling run out 1
T Latham c Bravo b Cottrell 3
T Southee c Cottrell b Russell 2
T Boult run out 5
I Sodhi not out 0
Extras (lb1, w2) 3
TOTAL (all out, 19.1 overs) 126
Fall of wickets: 1-8 (Neesham, 1.3 overs), 2-40 (McCullum, 5.2), 3-82 (Williamson, 11.2), 4-88 (Taylor, 12.3), 5-113 (Ronchi, 16.1), 6-116 (Watling, 16.5), 7-116 (Anderson, 17.1), 8-120 (Latham, 18), 9-126 (Southee, 19), 10-126 (Boult, 19.1)
Bowling: Badree 4-1-20-1, Cottrell 3.1-0-28-3, Narine 4-0-19-2 (w1), Sammy 3-0-22-0, Russell 2-0-17-1, Pollard 3-0-19-1 (w1).
Result: West Indies won by 39 runs.
Series: Two match series tied 1-1.
Man-of-the-Match: Andre Fletcher.
Man-of-the-Series: Andre Fletcher.
Toss: New Zealand.
Umpires: Gregory Brathwaite, Joel Wilson; TV – Nigel Duguid.