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West Indies surrender to Santner spin in defeat

New Zealand start T20 series on a winning note as skipper Kane Williamson and all-rounder Jimmy Neesham shine with the bat
Mitchell Santner
Mitchell Santner

Our Bureau   |   Calcutta   |   Published 12.08.22, 03:01 AM

The West Indies tried their best but still fell short by 13 runs in the first of three T20Is against New Zealand, in Kingston on Wednesday.

A disappointed Windies captain Nicholas Pooran accepted after the match that “losing is contagious” and that they are currently “a losing side”.  

Captain Kane Williamson and all-rounder Jimmy Neesham with the bat, and left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner with the ball played key roles in the the Black Caps’ win.

Williamson played a solid innings of 47 while Neesham authored a quick-fire 33 off 15 balls. Neesham struck three fours from the last three balls and 23 runs from the last over of the innings as New Zealand made 185/5 after being sent in to bat at Sabina Park.

Then Santner did his job, taking 3/19 as the visitors restricted the Caribbean side to 172/7 in 20 overs. Santner said bowling back of length helped him have the upper hand over the rival batters. “There was a lot of spin which was a big surprise.

“I think the lengths are key against these guys. They can hit you pretty far, so back of a length worked today and as a unit, we were able to pick up wickets which were pretty key,” Santner, adjudged Man of the Match, said.

The New Zealand innings was a story of two halves, separated by a lengthy rain break.

Openers Martin Guptill and Devon Conway gave them a strong start, putting on 63 for the first wicket.

But Odean Smith (3/32) got rid of them off consecutive deliveries. Guptill fell to a brilliant one-handed catch by Shimron Hetmeyer at deep point, while Conway’s innings of 43 from 29 ended when he top-edged a catch to wicketkeeper Devon Thomas.

The rain interruption came in the 12th over. New Zealand were 95/2, with Williamson and Glenn Phillips at the crease. Play resumed after almost two hours and it seemed New Zealand had lost momentum.

But Williamson came to the rescue, scoring runs at a quick pace. And in the death overs, Neesham’s burst helped. 

In reply, the Windies never really kept pace with the required run rate and paid fore that in the end.  “Scores above 175-180 are tricky for us.

Unfortunately losing is contagious and we’re a losing side at the moment,” captain Pooran said.

Shamarh Brooks got 42 runs for the home side. But there was a lack of consistency at the other end. 

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