Spirited Kiwis look to consolidate
The Kiwis have bounced back quite well in the third ODI with a thumping 88-run win over West Indies. After their team being ridiculed with injuries, this win has more come against the run of play versus a formidable West Indies side. It means that now the Black Caps trail 2-1 in the five-match series. Their batting was held by BJ Watling, who was given good support in parts by the skipper, Kane Williamson and the off-spinner, Nathan McCullum to post a decent total of 249.
From there on, their bowling, which was led by Trent Boult and Kyle Mills combined well to bowl a good new-ball spell. Tim Southee then bagged the prize wicket of Chris Gayle, whose inclusion has meant that he carried the load of most of the run-scoring areas. The middle-order crumbled too and Andre Russell’s solo blitz could not help the home side as they ran short of batsmen in the end.
What’s disappointing is that even New Zealand’s by far top-scorer in this series, Bradley Watling has picked up an injury and hence he is doubtful now. Daniel Flynn has so far looked aggressive but he has been unable to get proper starts. Even Rob Nicol, who scored a half century in his last match, hasn’t been consistent. Ross Taylor may come back to the team after his injury. And good news for them is that, Brendon McCullum will join them for the remaining two ODIs. That will surely boost their chances of keeping the series alive. Their bowling attack has looked moderate. The inclusion of Trent Boult in place of Tarun Nethula has proved to be a good point on a good seaming track.
In the first two games, Sammy and his gang had looked strong but their lower middle-order batting was exposed in the last ODI. With Gayle in the form of his life, the Kiwis will have one eye on him and the other eye on the rest of the team, if they have to plot the downfall of the Indies. Narine has also been in good form, he has been getting good turn and bounce in his home tracks which is an added bonus. Let’s hope for a cracking encounter between the two spirited teams.