Byline by- Vinayak Heliwal
New Zealand thrash West Indies by 5 Wickets in the opening T20 International in a rain-affected match to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
Earlier Tim Southee after winning the toss made West Indies to bat first and West Indies got off to a accelerating start thanks to Andre Fletcher’s quick fire 34 off just 14 balls. But sooner New Zealand bounced back in style, with Lockie Ferguson leading the charge as the West Indies lost five wickets for just one run, leaving them stuttering at 59/5.
But then began the Pollard show as he smashed the ball to all corners of the Eden Park to guide West Indies to a big score in eventful first innings. He’s scored 75 breaking his highest ever score in T20I Cricket. Pollard’s captain knock lifted West Indies to score a challenging total of 180/7 in 16 overs. Lockie Ferguson was the star of the show for New Zealand as he took five wickets and conceded only 21 runs in 4 overs.
Chasing a total of 176 in 16 overs needed some effort from the Black Caps, and in the end they overcame their 5 match losing streak in T20I with a powerful win.
New Zealand needed a powerful start to begin their chase but they failed to get one as they lost 4 wickets inside 7 overs. They were 63/4 at one stage when Neesham and Conway joined forces. The duo went after the West Indian bowling creating pressure on the bowlers. They stitched a 77-run stand which almost sealed the deal before Conway fell just 9 runs short of what could have been a good fifty on debut. Though, Neesham stayed till the end and along with Mitchell Santner ensured that New Zealand crosses the line.