BLACKCAPS clinical in Twenty20 thrashing

BLACKCAPS clinical in Twenty20 thrashing

BLACKCAPS 189-5 (Brendon McCullum 60*, Luke Ronchi 48*) beat the West Indies 108-8 (Adam Milne 1-15, Jimmy Neesham 3-16, Nathan McCullum 4-24) by 81 runs. 

They probably wouldn’t admit it, but the BLACKCAPS exacted a healthy dose of revenge tonight. Following their heavy defeat in Hamilton on Thursday, the hosts dished out a spanking of their own, cruising to a 81 run victory to go 1-0 up in the ANZ Twenty20 series. 

An unbeaten sixth wicket partnership of 85 between Brendon McCullum (60*) and Luke Ronchi (48*) lifted the BLACKCAPS to an imposing total of 189 for five. The pair crunched 50 off the final four overs, leaving the West Indies with it all to do. 

If the batting performance was good, the bowling and fielding effort was spectacular. The pace of Adam Milne (bowling one ball at 153kph), the craftiness of Nathan McCullum (4-24) and some highlight-reel catches saw the BLACKCAPS restrict the visitors to 108 for eight. 

The West Indies run chase never really got going, with Milne making the first breakthrough in the second over when he dismissed Lendl Simmons for a duck. 

It didn’t get much better for the Caribbean boys, who were clearly struggling with the speed of Milne. The 21-year old was constantly bowling around the 150 mark – as fast as you’ll find around the world. He finished with tidy figures of 15-1 after four overs, but they didn’t accurately reflect his impact. 

In the middle stages of the innings the older McCullum took the reins with the ball, causing the West Indies all sorts of problems in his 50th Twenty20 International. He also benefitted from some extraordinary fielding.

Guptill seemed to have springs in his legs, showing incredible athleticism to leap and take a catch on the long-off boundary to dismiss Andre Russell, while Jesse Ryder took a tough grab on the run to send captain Dwayne Bravo (10) on his way. 

The West Indies narrowly avoided being bowled out, but couldn’t stop the BLACKCAPS from a comfortable victory.

Alongside Milne and McCullum, Jimmy Neesham was also a valuable asset with the ball, taking three wickets and allowing just 15 runs from his four overs. 

Earlier, captain McCullum and Ronchi had got the BLACKCAPS out of a spot of bother with their side at 104-5, turning the tide with a finely balanced display of control and aggression. 

McCullum had been going at a strike-rate of under 100 for most of the innings, having lost partners regularly throughout the first 13 overs. However, once established with Ronchi, he was able to play with far more freedom.

The duo picked away at the bad balls and ran well between the wickets for the first couple of overs, before launching a full-scale attack. Ronchi slammed the often troublesome Sunil Narine for 20 in the 18th over, while McCullum hit two maximums in the final over, including a scoop shot which infuriated bowler Tino Best. 

McCullum walloped four sixes and two fours on his way to his 12th T20I half-century, while Ronchi went one better with an additional four in his 25 ball knock. 

The performance meant a lot to the BLACKCAPS, who were desperate to put the Hamilton One Day International behind them. They succeeded and will now head to Wellington hopeful of notching a 2-0 series win. 

With Thanks To

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