McCullum, Ronchi partnership set up T20 win for New Zealand

AUCKLAND, New Zealand,  CMC – An unbeaten sixth-wicket partnership between Brendon McCullum and Luke Ronchi rescued New Zealand from a precarious position to win the first Twenty20 International against West Indiesby 81 runs yesterday.

The 85-run stand from 43 balls helped the hosts to 189-5 batting first and restricted West Indies to 108-8 after 20 overs.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Andre Fletcher, who joined the team this week, was West Indies’ highest scorer with 23. Fletcher joined Johnson Charles (16) following thedismissal of Lendl Simmons without scoring.

Nikita Miller and Samuel Badree batted out the West Indies’ innings, finishing on 15 and 14 respectively.

Nathan McCullum (4-24) and James Neesham (3-16), led the bowling for New Zealand.

Earlier, New Zealand reached 189-5, thanks mainly to Brendon McCullum and Ronchi, who frustrated the West Indies’ bowlers. Both batsmen closed their side’s innings unbeaten on 60 and 48 respectively.

Tino Best, who made the initial breakthrough with the dismissal of Martin Guptill for 25, finished with 4-30 from four overs and Nikita Miller had 2-26 from three overs.

The two teams wrap up the two-match T20I series on Wednesday in Wellington.

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