Sunday 28 December 2008 

McCullum Blasts New Zealand To Series-Levelling Win

McCullum Blasts New Zealand To Series-Levelling Win
McCullum Blasts New Zealand To Series-Levelling Win
© REUTERS/Andrew Biraj (BANGLADESH) Picture Supplied by Action Images
New Zealand bounced back from the disappointment of losing a super over tie breaker
to defeat the West Indies by 36 runs in the second Twenty20 International in Hamilton.

Chasing an imposing 192 for victory the West Indies got off to a terrible start
losing skipper Chris Gayle in the second over for one, he was caught by Jacob Oram
off the bowling of debutant Ewen Thompson to leave the West Indies five for one.

After losing the early wicket Ramnaresh Sarwan, who was promoted to open the West
Indies innings hit three huge sixes, two over mid on off Thompson and one over mid
wicket off Kyle Mills as the West Indies tried to regain some momentum in this
fixture, the tourists found themselves 38 for one after five overs.

Tim Southee picked up a wicket with the first ball that he bowled, when he had
Xavier Marshall (10) caught on the mid off boundary by Daniel Flynn, to leave the
West Indies 49 for two in the seventh over.

The West Indies most experienced batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul never looked
comfortable at the crease and he became the West Indies' third victim when he mis
timed a sweep and was caught by Jacob Oram off the bowling of Daniel Vettori, to
leave the West Indies 64 for three in the eighth over.

Sarwan (53) cruised past his 50, but with the required rate increasing all the time,
the Guyanese batsman had to chance his arm and in trying to his Oram for a huge six
over mid wicket hit the ball straight to Southee at mid on, Sarwan's wicket left the
West Indies 87 for five in the 13th over.

Kieron Pollard and Denesh Ramdin then joined forces, but with the rate required now 16 an over, it was starting to look like a lost cause for the West Indies; the tourists
were 108 for five after 15 overs.

Just when it looked as though the game was beyond the West Indies, Pollard smashed
the 17th over of the innings bowled by Southee for 20 runs, including a six over
mid wicket and three fours. However the next two overs from New Zealand were very
tight and in the end they were able to restrict the tourists to 155 for seven and
emerge comfortable 36 run winners.

Earlier, the hosts seemed to be tied down by some accurate West Indian bowling in the first few overs, however they came to life in the fourth over, when Brendon McCullum hit Jerome Taylor for two fours in the fine leg region before Jesse Ryder smashed him for a six over mid wicket, as the hosts found themselves 36 for no loss after four overs.

The onslaught continued as the duo took 13 off the next over bowled by Sulieman Benn.

New Zealand's 50 was raised in the sixth over when McCullum worked Edwards into the
leg side for a single. The hosts continued to dominate the fixture as 24 runs were
take off the next over which was bowled by Edwards, this included two sixes over
mid wicket from McCullum, and McCullum brought up his 50 from 28 balls with a single off

Ryder then brought up his teams 100 in the 10th over with a glorious cover drive off of
Gayle. McCullum was the West Indies' first victim caught by Shivnarine Chanderpaul off Gayle for 59 to leave New Zealand 130 for one in the 12th over.

McCullum's wicket signalled something of a collapse as New Zealand lost their next
eight wickets for 61 runs, therefore failing to capitalise on their fantastic start
and posting a total of 191 for nine.

It still proved more than enough, however.

Aaron Kumar
© Cricket World 2008