New Zealand won the first T20 by 47 runs, dispatching West Indies yet again. The home side scored 187-7 in the first innings after being put into bat by the visitors, and the total ultimately proved to be too much for the hapless Windies.
The Windies failed to restrict the Kiwis despite them having a weak batting order filled with youngsters. Taylor and Brathwaite were both expensive with the ball, dashing hopes of a bowling resurgence with the changes made to the squad. Can the Windies even come close to winning a game before ending the tour, or will the Kiwis continue to make them pay?
Carlos Brathwaite (c), Samuel Badree, Sheldon Cottrell, Rayad Emrit, Andre Fletcher, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Jason Mohammed, Ashley Nurse, Rovman Powell, Jerome Taylor, Chadwick Walton, Kesrick Williams.
Tim Southee, Doug Bracewell, Tom Bruce, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Anaru Kitchen, Glenn Phillips, Seth Rance, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Kane Williamson (c), Colin Munro.
Where the teams stand
West Indies’ pacers desperately need to pull up their socks. They have consistently looked toothless and out of steam, failing to contain runs or take wickets. The last match was no different, with the lowest economy rate between the three fast bowlers being 9.5. In contrast, the spinners did their best to do what the pacers could not. Badree and Nurse ended with rates of 5.5 and 7.75 respectively, with a wicket each as well. With Kane Williamson returning for the remaining games, the job of the bowlers will only get harder. Even Santner and Southee boasted strike rates in excess of 200 as a result of their late barrage of boundaries. The Windies had a good opportunity to gain some confidence, but it proved to be just another thing they have failed to do on this tour. If they keep bowling this way, they will have a hard time winning even at home.
The pitiable state of their bowlers mirrors the condition of the batting lineup as well. Gayle and Hope, the two batsmen who inspired some semblance of hope for their fans, have struggled to score runs throughout the tour. The rest keep falling like dominoes, barely getting to 20s or even 10s. The batsman have adequately proved that expecting anything from them is going to end with disappointment, a sad predicament for a once-legendary team.
Where the Windies have struggled, the Kiwis have excelled. They posted a score in excess of 180 while playing several youngsters and managed to restrict the Windies to 140. Rance had a good debut, where he picked up 3 wickets with an economy of 7.5. Southee and Bracewell picked up 3 and 2 wickets, respectively. That’s 8 wickets between the pacers, as opposed to 5 for the Windies. Spinners Sodhi and Santner did a good job as well, picking up a wicket each while remaining miserly when it came to conceding runs. Southee did a good job as captain, and the bowlers supported him well.
The Kiwi batsmen have proved that they do not need too many established names to get by against the Windies. Their score of 187 will be tough to improve upon, but with the Windies looking as abject as they have all tour, they need not worry. The series is theirs to win.
New Zealand win. West Indies simply do not seem to be able to do anything right, and until they don’t, they will continue to pay for it.
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