West Indies denied New Zealand the chance to seal a series sweep by defeating the visitors by eight wickets in Kingston on Sunday.
Kiwi batters fail to fire
The New Zealand top-order all reached double figures during their respective innings, but only one batter scored more than 24 as the hosts’ bowlers put the clamps on the visitors.
Glenn Phillips looked the best of the New Zealand batters, with the Kiwi No.5 smashing 41 from just 26 deliveries to help the visitors post a below-par score of 145/7 from their allotted 20 overs.
After scores of 185/5 in the first match of the series and 215/5 in the second, Kane Williamson’s side would have been disappointed with their efforts after they won the toss and elected to bat first.
Guptill claims top billing
While New Zealand opener Martin Guptill only managed 15 before he was bowled by Akeal Hosein, the veteran did enough to become the leading run-scorer in the history of men’s T20I.
Guptill has now made a total of 3,497 T20I runs during his career, with his latest knock helping him overtake India captain Rohit Sharma (3,487) narrowly.
Rohit and third-placed Virat Kohli (3,308) will get the chance to move to the top when India take part in the eagerly awaited Asia Cup that commences later this month.
West Indies’ top-order fit for a King
The Caribbean side shuffled the deck chairs at selection with four changes to their XI and the decision to rest skipper Nicholas Pooran paid off as the West Indies’ top-order looked composed in chasing down New Zealand’s score with ease.
Right-hander Brandon King (53) got the hosts off to a flyer on his return from injury, while fellow opener Shamarh Brooks (56*) played a more cautious role as the hosts put on 102 for the opening wicket to leave New Zealand requiring a miracle.
That never eventuated as Rovman Powell (27*) came in to guide the run chase home, with the stand-in West Indies captain smashing Jimmy Neesham for six on the final delivery of the penultimate over to seal the contest.
West Indies find winning formula
The decision by the West Indies to play two spinners proved pivotal in the result, with Hosein (2/18) and Hayden Walsh (1/16) proving difficult to dispatch and pacer Odean Smith (3/29) reaping the rewards with career best figures.
King, who won the Player of the Match award for his impressive half-century, said the bowlers deserved much of the praise for the victory.
“Today credit has to be given to the bowlers,” he said after the match.
“They did an excellent job for us and made my job that much easier.”
Williamson said his side was outplayed on the day, with New Zealand now turning their attention to the three-match ODI series that commences on Wednesday.
“The West Indies adapted to the conditions nicely,” Williamson said.
“We knew that with 140 things would have to go well for us with the ball and they outplayed us today.”
Glenn Phillips named Player of the Series for his 134 runs across the 3 games #WIvNZ #CricketNation pic.twitter.com/kx1dYz4UG6
— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) August 14, 2022
West Indies 150 for 2 (Brooks 56*, King 53) beat New Zealand 145 for 7 (Phillips 41, Smith 3-29)
Brandon King is the Player of the Match. He says: “Special. Being able to do it at home. My family is here. Consistency is key as a batsman. They did an excellent job, the bowlers, made our job easier. My job for the team is same no matter what total we are chasing. To put the team off to a good start. Brooks understood the momentum of the game.”
WI captain Rovman Powell: “As a boyhood dream it is your pleasure to play for WI, and to captain at home it is special feeling. Last night I asked the boys for their support and they gave it. (Bowling) It is clarity. We know how hot it is so I don’t want our bowlers to bowl too many at a stretch. Keeps the NZ batters thinking too. Last night we talked about more people coming in today so want to extend it to our fans for coming out even when the series was dead. Brandon has been batting very well, unfortunate he couldn’t play first two games. One went aggressive, the other (Brooks) was more defensive. (Pooran) We’ll have a little chat about it and laugh about it.”
Glenn Phillips, the Player of the Series: “Special feeling to come to Sabina and score runs is special. Love playing here, great people, good to put on a show. To have Neesham, Santner to follow later gives us confidence to bat freely. Today there were fine margins, and potentially that let us down today.”
NZ captain Kane Williamson: “WI adapted to conditions nicely. They executed their plans beautifully. We couldn’t open up an end with the ball – having said that the effort was there. There’s lots of enjoyment playing in this group. Lots of leaders in this group too. Consistent performances is where our focus has been on. (Goals) World Cup is in the back of your mind but you focus on what’s in front of you.”