New Zealand Thump West Indies
New Zealand 189-5 (B McCullum 60no) beat
West Indies 108-9 (N McCullum 4-24) by 81 runs
First Twenty20 International, Auckland
New Zealand handed the West Indies an 81-run defeat in the first Twenty20 International in Auckland after the McCullum brothers - Brendon and Nathan - played starring roles.
Brendon cracked 60 in 45 balls as New Zealand piled up 189 for five before Nathan took four wickets, on his 50th Twenty20 International appearance, as the West Indies closed on just 108 for eight.
The West Indies are far from full strength - no Chris Gayle, Darren Bravo, Kieron Pollard or Darren Sammy and Ravi Rampaul is now returning home due to a thumb injury - and New Zealand took full advantage to run out comfortable winners.
Very similar to the way they batted at times during the One-Day International series, they set their innings up perfectly.
Openers Martin Guptill (25) and Jesse Ryder (22) added 38 together inside the Power Play to lay the foundations for McCullum to come in and blast two fours and four sixes on the way to his 12th T20I half-century, remaining unbeaten.
There was a brief fightback from the men in maroon as Ross Taylor made just five, Colin Munro 22 and Corey Anderson a two-ball duck but what must now feel like normal service was resumed when Luke Ronchi joined McCullum and smashed 48 not out in 25 balls with three fours and four sixes.
The pair added 85 together in 43 balls and their half-century stand came up in just 28 deliveries as the West Indies bowlers endured another day where they were unable to keep the Black Caps batsmen in check.
By contrast, New Zealand's bowlers stopped the West Indies from scoring runs by taking wickets. The tourists' best partnership was the unbroken ninth-wicket stand of 31 between Nikita Miller (15 not out) and Samuel Badree (14 not out).
That merely prevented New Zealand from bowling them out and the West Indies retain their record of never having been dismissed for less than 100 in a Twenty20 International - one of only two sides (South Africa are the other) to hold that honour.
However, that will be scant consolation for them after New Zealand impressed as much with the ball as they had done with the bat.
McCullum was outstanding in taking four for 24, removing Andre Fletcher (23), Kieran Powell (12), Dwayne Bravo (12) and Andre Russell (0) as the West Indies slipped from 53 for two to 75 for six.
Jimmy Neesham returned three for 16, striking early to remove the dangerous Johnson Charles for 16 and then dismissing Chadwick Walton (9) and Sunil Narine (0) late on while Adam Milne took one for 15 in four overs. He had Lendl Simmons caught behind without scoring but bowling in the Power Play his ability to avoid conceding big runs stood out.
Tim Southee was the only bowler the West Indies really got after, going for 36 in four overs while Anderson also kept things tight with 15 runs coming from his four overs.
Fletcher's 23 was the top score for the West Indies and he hit one of just two sixes in their innings - as clear a sign as any that they were completely outplayed on the day.
© Cricket World 2014