New Zealand win first T20
AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) – Nathan McCullum took four for 24, removing the cream of the West Indies’ batting lineup today, as New Zealand won the first of two Twenty20 cricket internationals by 81 runs to lead the two-match series 1-0.
McCullum, playing his 50th T20 international, dismissed Andre Fletcher for 23, Kieran Powell for 12, Dwayne Bravo for 10 and Andre Russell for 0 in the space of four overs, slicing through the top and middle order as the West Indies were held to 108 for eight in reply to New Zealand’s 189-5.
Jimmy Neesham removed opener Johnson Charles for 16, then returned to dismiss Chadwick Walton for 5 and Sunil Narine for a second-ball duck, taking three for 16 as New Zealand overwhelmed the tourists on a slow pitch at Eden Park.
Wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi scored 48 in an unbroken 85-run partnership with captain Brendon McCullum and held two important catches as New Zealand took charge of the Twenty20 series ahead of the second match in Wellington on Tuesday.
While Brendon McCullum top-scored for New Zealand, taking his 60 runs from 45 balls with two fours and four sixes, it was Ronchi who kick-started an innings which had begun to be bogged down. He followed the example of Colin Munro whose 22 from 14 balls, including two sixes and a four, was also instrumental in reviving New Zealand’s flagging run rate.
New Zealand won the toss and were contained early on by spinner Samuel Badree who took the new ball and bowled his four overs consecutively at a cost of 25 runs.
None of the New Zealand top order managed to stay long at the crease, though in the context of the match their performances were decisive. Martin Guptill made 25 from 16 balls, Jesse Ryder 22 from 14 and Ross Taylor 5. New Zealand were only 66 for three in the ninth over when Taylor was out and 103 for four when Munro fell in the 13th over.
But the start was better than that made by the West Indies, who struggled against the express pace of Adam Milne and the mixed pace and flight of McCullum.
The West Indies now go to Wellington needing to win to square the Twenty20 series after tying the one-day series 2-2 and losing the Test series 2-0.