A valuable fifty from Luke Ronchi, his second consecutive match-winning performance took New Zealand to a thrilling four-wicket win over West Indies. It was his maiden T20 half-century and his 68-run stand for sixth wicket with Ross Taylor helped New Zealand chase down the target of 160 with an over to spare.
West Indies did not have an ideal start to the chase as they lost five wickets for just 79 runs in 10 overs. Guptill departed in the last ball off the first over as he was caught behind for 1. After the wicket of Guptill, it was Jesse Ryder who had to attack the West Indies new-ball bowlers.
Jesse Ryder has been in good nick and he reproduced the same kind of performance in this match as well. He and Brendon McCullum scored at a good tempo as New Zealand rose to 25/1 in just two overs.
New Zealand subsequently lost Ryder and McCullum in the space of three overs and were wobbling at 49/3 in five overs. Colin Munro, who was left out of ODI squad for the home series against India, didn’t make an impact as he was dismissed for only 5. Corey Anderson, who scored fastest century in one-day international also failed to perform as he was dismissed for 6 to leave New Zealand reeling at 79/5.
At the time, Ronchi and Ross Taylor read the situation well and batted sensibly. They rotated the strike and when the opportunity was presented, the duo made the most of it. Ross Taylor is good player through the leg-side, and West Indies were still offering room for him in the leg side and Taylor exploited it to perfection.
They scored 45 runs in the next five overs to brighten New Zealand’s chances of winning the T20 series. But a 15-run over off Jason Holder knocked West Indies out of the match and New Zealand finally prevailed in tense win by four wickets.
Jason Holder claimed couple of wickets but was expensive in the 17th over which changed the course of the match. He was not accurate in his length, which cost him as well as West Indies the series. Sunil Narine did his job by picking up two wickets for just 18 runs. His spell in the middle overs added pressure on New Zealand, but he didn’t get support from his fast bowlers.
The main reason for West Indies loss is poor batting display in the middle overs. They got off to a steady start, but lost the plot in the middle overs. They went to 27/1 in five overs, but the wickets of Simmons and Bravo halted West Indies progress. However 50-run stand between Dinesh Ramdin and Fletcher helped West Indies cross the 150-run mark. It affected them because they bowled poorly in the middle overs of New Zealand innings.
New Zealand 163 for 6 (Ronchi 51*, Taylor 39, Narine 2-18)
beat West Indies 159 for 5 (Ramdin 55*, Fletcher 40, Milne 2-22, N McCullum 1-17) by four wickets