West Indies level Twenty20 series 1-1

West Indies level Twenty20 series 1-1

West Indies 165-6 in 20 overs (Andre Fletcher 62, Lendl Simmons 36, Trent Boult 2-22) beat the BLACKCAPS 126 all out in 19.1 overs (Kane Williamson 37, Sunil Narine 2-19, Sheldon Cottrell 3-28) by 39 runs. 

The Twenty20 series is shared 1-1 after the BLACKCAPS stumbled chasing 166 for the win. The bowlers dominated for both sides, with Andre Fletcher the only batsman to really get on top. Losing regular wickets meant the BLACKCAPS batsmen were always playing catch up, and the West Indies finished the job, going through the tail to win by 39 runs. 

Kane Williamson took the captain's armband for this match and after winning the toss chose to put the home side in to bat. Tim Southee bagged Dwayne Smith in the third over to get things off to a great start, but Fletcher and Lendl Simmons' 66 run partnership for the second wicket put the West Indies back on track. 

Ish Sodhi made the most of a turning pitch to break things up, getting Simmons to sky one to the boundary, where Corey Anderson cooly took an over-the-rope-throw-it-in-the-air special.  

Darren Bravo was dropped by Jimmy Neesham from a high chance in the 13th over, but he was unable to make the life count, going for 14, bowled by Williamson the next over.   

Trent Boult added to his stunning-catch-highlight-reel with a gravity-defying effort on the boundary, gathering, throwing and diving to grab and send Darren Sammy on his way. 

Tight death bowling took care of Fletcher and Sammy, and the BLACKCAPS would have been pleased to restrict West Indies to 165-6, when they looked set for something bigger midway through the innings. 

In reply, Jimmy Neesham went early, driving a low Sheldon Cottrell full toss to point, where Bravo took the catch. Williamson survived an early stumping appeal, but reviews showed he had his foot back on the ground in time, but only just. 

Brendon McCullum took 15 from Cottrell in the fourth over, whlle Williamson was finding the boundary regularly with some wily sweep shots. He looked good for his 21, but then chipped Badree to cover in tame fashion from Simmons, to be on his way for 21.

Anchor man Williamson was bowled playing on for 37 by Pollard, while Ross Taylor went playing on to Sunil Narine when he looked set to go on to a big score. 

Anderson and Luke Ronchi were bogged down somewhat through the latter stages of the innings, as the runs required / balls remaining ratio got ever more grim for the BLACKCAPS, thanks to some wily bowling from Pollard and Narine. The latter ended with figures of 2-19 from his four overs and proved as hard as ever for the batsmen to pick.

Luke Ronchi became Narine's second victim when he tried to up the pace, slicing one to Andre Russell in the deep. Anderson was next, going for the big hit from Cottrell to long on, where Sammy was reliable as ever in the field 

The tail was willing, but unable to offer serious resistance, with BJ Watling (1), Tom Latham (3), Southee (2) and Boult (5) all losing their wickets attempting to chase the imposing target.  Boult was run out chasing a single from the first ball of the last over to hand the win to the West Indies, who levelled the series 1-1. 

It was a disappointing way to finish the tour, but the Test series win will be the abiding memory from this trip to the Caribbean - and the opportunity to experiment with the Test side in T20 guise may well pay dividends in the future. 

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