Black Caps take another easy win

Seth Rance is congratulated by team-mates after picking up two wickets in two balls on debut as...
Seth Rance is congratulated by team-mates after picking up two wickets in two balls on debut as New Zealand beat the West Indies by 47 runs in Nelson. Photo: Getty Images
Two overs dictated New Zealand's dominance of the West Indies in their 47-run opening Twenty20 victory in Nelson.

The first was the final over of the hosts' innings, having been asked to bat at Saxton Oval.

New Zealand were 162 for seven; an innings which had ebbed and flowed against some quality West Indies' bowling.

Kesrick Williams took the ball. Santner cleared his hip and clobbered the first ball into the sightscreen. A no-ball came next. That was walloped through mid-wicket with the bonus of a free hit. A single was squeezed to long-on off another no-ball, then Tim Southee swung two to deep mid-wicket, followed by a dot ball reprieve.

As if Williams hadn't had enough trouble, he was no-balled for height next, as Southee stepped down the wicket and top edged to the fine leg fence. A bye, followed by a brace of Santner twos into the legside completed a 25-run haul from nine balls. That tipped the game in New Zealand's favour with the required run rate ballooning to 9.4 per over.

The next pivotal over was the third of the West Indies innings. T20 debutant Seth Rance was struggling, having been hit for seven runs from three balls with no protection behind square on the offside.

Suddenly, a bowler who looked like prey became the predator. Chris Gayle shaped to pull, but a top edge sailed toward a vacant short fine leg. A blur of limbs dived through the air as if saving a wallet from vanishing into an abyss. Wicketkeeper Glenn Phillips produced one of the catches of the summer as Gayle exited for 12 off eight balls.

Next Chadwick Walton flayed a full, wide Rance offering to fellow debutant Anaru Kitchen at cover. Walton could have picked anywhere else in an arc of 45 degrees to reach the boundary. He disappeared for seven off nine balls.

Rance finished with three wickets for 30 from his allotment, which included the final lbw of Samuel Badree.

New Zealand exhibited a polished bowling and fielding display.

Ish Sodhi had Andre Fletcher stumped by Phillips for 27 off 25 balls in the ninth over, intensifying the pressure. That dismissal came in a period where New Zealand conceded just one boundary in 43 balls between the seventh and 15th overs. The parsimony of Sodhi, Mitchell Santner and Doug Bracewell crushed the visitors' momentum.

Carlos Brathwaite showed signs of optimism with 21 off 14 balls, until he belted a Southee delivery to what could have been mistaken for a statue of Tom Bruce at wide long on.

Phillips collected three catches to complement his stumping. He had already branded his mark on the game through an 86-run second-wicket partnership from 60 balls with Colin Munro.

Munro made 53 from 37 balls, his fourth international T20 half-century. Phillips eased to 55 from 40 after previous innings of five and 11 against South Africa and India respectively.

The pair built a platform that enabled Ross Taylor (20 from 12 balls), Kitchen (12 from nine) and Santner (23 from 11) to capitalise in the final overs.

Badree delivered his customary economy and spin variations, taking one for 22 from four overs. Brathwaite and Jerome Taylor took a couple of wickets each but Williams, who bowled tidily in his first three overs, let any advantage slip at the death.

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