NELSON, New Zealand, CMC – Little mention was made of West Indies’ fragile batting as the Caribbean side sought reasons to explain their 47-run defeat to New Zealand in yesterday’s opening Twenty20 International.
Instead, the spotlight fell on the final over of the Black Caps innings when seamer Kesrick Williams conceded 25 runs, allowing the hosts to rattle up 187 for seven off their allotted 20 overs, after they were sent in at Saxton Oval.
“For the first 19 overs we bowled as good as we did. But it happens, Kesrick Williams has been the best bowler in the world this calendar year and he just went awry,” captain Carlos Brathwaite said afterwards.
“It wasn’t even a bad day, just one bad over and that gave them some momentum going into our innings and we never really got that big over.”
Glenn Phillips top-scored with 55 and Colin Munro got 53 but the Windies snatched five wickets for 40 runs in 31 balls during the middle overs to leave the hosts on 162 for seven at the end of the 19th.
But Mitchell Santner, who finished on 23 not out from 11 balls, then tore into Williams, to propel New Zealand to a competitive total.
Still, West Indies batted poorly from the outset losing wickets steadily, and only Andre Fletcher with 27, Brathwaite who scored 21 and tail-ender Ashley Nurse, 21 not out, showed any real enterprise.
They were already beaten at 103 for eight in the 16th over before Nurse saved some face with lusty hitting.
“Credit to them (New Zealand). Sometimes you have to give credit to the opposition,” Brathwaite said of the Black Caps bowling effort.
New Zealand captain Tim Southee praised his side’s all-round effort.
“We struggled early on with the bat but the guys hung in there and were able to finish really strongly and then the way we fielded and bowled was exceptional,” he said.
West Indies face New Zealand in the second T20 at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui on New Year’s Day.