Gayle and Pollard blow Kiwis away
A tremendous unbeaten 108-run stand from 41 balls for the third wicket powered West Indies to their highest T20I total against New Zealand, which they defended with ease.
USA was getting ready to host just its third T20I involving a Test nation. New Zealand, having a bit of experience in these conditions, having played here last year, chose to bowl on what was thought to be a slow deck. West Indies, after a poor show in England were desperate for a turn-around.
Dwayne Smith set up the show first up with a massive six off the first ball of the match from Nathan McCullum. His partner, Chris Gayle was playing a touch sedately at the other end. He played a brisk cameo, did Smith, but was dismissed soon by Doug Bracewell.
The big hitting continued as Johnson Charles started to pelt the ball around and ended the Quick Start Overs on 43/1. The next four overs were a touch slow and yielded 24 runs, with West Indies 67/1 at the half-way stage. Slowly, the big hitting started to come and the next 5 overs resulted in 64 runs for the wicket of Charles, after he added 74 for the second wicket with Gayle.
The troubles only doubled for the Kiwis as Kieron Pollard came out to join the bandwagon. The first ball he faced was dispatched out of the ground and his intentions were pretty clear. Gayle and Pollard tore into the attack and West Indies ended up scoring 78 runs in the Extreme Performance Overs.
Chris Gayle was unbeaten on 85 with a Batting Momentum of 173 while Pollard was not out on 63 with a Momentum of 162. Doug Bracewell was the pick of the bowlers with 1/47 with a Bowling Efficiency of 39.
Have a look at the scorecard.
There were plenty of injuries to the Kiwi players and one result was that Roneel Hira would not come out to bat. Chasing a daunting target, the Kiwi openers got off to a decent start. But the mystery spinner, Sunil Narine got rid of Guptill and the flood-gates were opened.
51/1 was the score in the Quick Start Overs and the score was still pretty decent. But Taylor, who had hurt himself while fielding, could not carry on further and left the field. The next 4 overs saw just 27 runs being scored and even though the Kiwis were at par with the host at this stage, they had a big ask.
Wickets started to fall because of the mounting pressure and with 76 needed from 30 balls, it was looking an impossible task. The Kiwis eventually folded on 153, losing by a whopping 56 runs. None from the Kiwi batting line-up could put up any impressive performance. West Indies were not at their best either with the ball and Sunil Narine was the pick of the bowlers with 3/34 with Bowling Efficiency of 76.
West Indies finished on a Castrol Index of 75 while New Zealand were way behind on 39. But the Kiwis were better in the Quick Start Overs.
Chris Gayle was named the Man Of The Match and finished as the best performer on the Castrol Index with a value of 64. The best bet for New Zealand was Jacob Oram with 35 points.
The second T20I will be played at this same venue on Sunday, 1st July, 2012 at 1800 GMT.