WELLINGTON – The more the match went on, the sloppier the West Indies became.
But at least the dismal tour of India and New Zealand is now finally over for the beleagured regional side.
Poor fielding and a costly over from skipper Dwayne Bravo disrupted West Indies’ momentum and helped New Zealand to a four-wicket win in the second and final T20 match at Westpac Stadium yesterday.
West Indies dropped a number of catches in the field while an expensive 15th over by Bravo yielded 17 runs as New Zealand completed a successful chase after the visitors, who won the toss and elected to bat first, had scored 159 for five.
Luke Ronchi surpassed his unbeaten 48 in the first match at Auckland, which New Zealand won by 81 runs, reaching his first half-century in T20s from 25 balls with four fours and two sixes to spur the home side to victory.
The match concluded New Zealand’s domestic series against West Indies in which it won the three-Test series 2-0, shared the five-match One-Day series 2-2 and won an important victory in the Twenty20 series six weeks from the World Twenty20 Championships in Bangladesh.
Bravo was still pleased with the performance of his team.
“It was a big improvement from the last game,” he said. “Unfortunately we didn’t win this one but it was a good learning process and I was happy with the effort from the guys.
“I think we were 15 to 20 runs short but at the same time the bowlers gave it their best. Ronchi and Taylor held the New Zealand innings together in the middle but overall I’m happy.”
In a good match for wicketkeepers, Denesh Ramdin top-scored for West Indies with 55 in its total of 159-5 while New Zealand reached 163-6 with an over to spare.
Ramdin reached his half-century from 26 balls and took his 55 runs from 31 balls with three fours and three sixes to spur West Indies to a competitive total after they won the toss and batted.
The visitors were struggling at 66-3 after 10 overs but Andre Fletcher began their recovery, making 40 from 36 balls and sharing a 70-run fifth-wicket partnership with Ramdin that ended when he sacrificed his wicket in a run-out mix-up.
Ronchi and Ross Taylor (39) put on 68 for the sixth wicket, turning the match New Zealand’s way, and former Australia wicketkeeper Ronchi stayed on to see New Zealand home.
He was helped by young all-rounder Jimmy Neesham, who hit an unbeaten 14 from six balls, including a pull for four to bring up the winning runs.
Ronchi said after a mediocre start to his limited overs career for New Zealand he was glad to contribute to its last two Twenty20 victories.
“I think it was just a massive thing to make runs and contribute the other day and I continued on from there,” he said. “It just felt really good today.
“I got myself in with Ross (Taylor) and just tried to make the best of an opportunity.
“We still had a lot of time to bat so we thought we could still catch up on the balls we miss out on. We just said if the singles are there they’re there, if it’s a boundary option then go for it.” (BA/CMC)