Rain wrecks Windies hopes as Munro shines
MOUNT MAUNGANUI, New Zealand – Any hopes West Indies entertained of rebounding to win their three-match Twenty20 series against New Zealand were dashed when rain wiped out the second match here New Year’s Day.
The adverse weather, which had forced a 20-minute delayed start, returned after nine overs with New Zealand on 102 for four, ending play prematurely in the contest at Bay Oval.
With the disappointment, the Windies will now head into the final game on Wednesday at the same venue needing a win in order to avoid another series defeat.
They trail 0-1 following a 47-run defeat in the opener in Nelson last Friday.
In the play possible before the rains arrived, opener Colin Munro stole show with a pulsating 66 of 23 deliveries, following up his 53 in the first game.
The 30-year-old left-hander smashed 11 fours and three sixes, an innings which put the visitors under pressure early after they won the toss and opted to field first.
West Indies claimed an early victim when left-arm pacer Sheldon Cottrell had Martin Guptill caught at the wicket for two off the fourth ball of the match, with three runs on the board.
But Munro then took charge, dominating a 75-run, second wicket stand with captain Kane Williamson (17 not out) which required a mere 31 deliveries.
His mood was evident when he took a couple off-side boundaries off leg-spinner Samuel Badree in the second over before following up with a pair of sixes over long-on off Cottrell in the next over which leaked 17 runs.
Munro then ripped into captain Carlos Brathwaite in the fifth over, smashing a six and three fours in the medium pacer’s solitary over which went for 21.
He clipped the final delivery of the over for a single to backward square to raise his half-century off 18 balls – the second fastest-ever for New Zealand.
In the following over from pacer Kesrick Williams, Munro punched consecutive boundaries off the first four balls of the over and appeared to be eyeing something special when he holed out in the deep trying to clear the long-on boundary with the fifth delivery.
West Indies them admirably clawed their way back, picking up three wickets for 19 runs in the space of 16 balls.
Glenn Phillips missed a straight one from Badree and was lbw for 10 in the eighth over and Brathwaite produced a one-handed stunner at mid-wicket to account for Tom Bruce for three off off-spinner Ashley Nurse. (CMC)