BLACKCAPS go 1-0 up in the rain

BLACKCAPS go 1-0 up in the rain

BLACKCAPS 117-4 (Brendon McCullum 40, Ross Taylor 28*) beat West Indies 132-8 (Andre Fletcher 52, Tim Southee 2-20, Trent Boult 2-28) by 12 runs (D/L) at Windsor Park, Roseau, Dominica.

In a rain-shortened match, the BLACKCAPS beat the West Indies by 12 runs on Duckworth Lewis, thanks to some tight bowling in the death overs in the field and an aggressive move to get ahead of the required target and stay there with the bat. They lead the two-match series 1-0 going into tomorrow's game starting at 6am Monday NZ time. 

After winning the toss, skipper Brendon McCullum chose to have a bowl first with plenty of rain around. Trent Boult and Tim Southee knocked over the two openers cheaply before the rain came and reduced the match to 18 overs a side. 

Andre Fletcher and Darren Bravo made a fine partnership of 88 that really put the bowling attack under pressure, and were particularly harsh on Twenty20 International debutant Ish Sodhi. Corey Anderson made the break through, getting a ball to lift on Bravo, who skied it to Luke Ronchi behind the stumps to send him on his way for 30. 

Fletcher's wicket was Sodhi's reward, when he was caught by Boult at short third man in a simple catch for 52. From looking set for a big total, the West Indies slumped somewhat, thanks to some tight bowling and solid fielding in the final overs which yielded a series of quick wickets. The home team finished on 132-8, probably 20-30 runs short of what they were looking for.
In the second innings, Jimmy Neesham looked at home in his new role as opener, punishing Krishmar Santokie for a six over mid on and stroking him for four in the second over. Santokie won the war however, getting Neesham to play a low full toss onto his stumps and he was on his way for 11 from 8. 

Kane Williamson played his steady T20 game, working the ball around and taking the odd boundary, including a lofted drive down the ground from Daren Sammy for four. 

McCullum was all aggression, hitting Santokie for three successive fours in an effort to get the BLACKCAPS above the Duckworth Lewis target, taking the constant threat of rain into account. The pitch was damp by this stage, allowing the ball to skid on to the bat and making life tough for the West Indies bowlers. 

Williamson went for 19 to a tremendous Sammy catch, leaping high in the air to take the ball one-handed from his own bowling. Ross Taylor was in good form, punishing Russell Taylor for 18 from a single over. McCullum went for 40 trying to up the pace and was caught in the deep from Sammy's bowling. 

Anderson was extremely positive, hitting a six and a four in his innings of 15. He and Taylor kept the runs required well under control and the BLACKCAPS ahead of Duckworth Lewis before he top edged Sammy high behind the keeper, where Sunil Narine took an easy catch.  

In the end, the fading light and rain that had persisted for almost all the BLACKCAPS' innings became too much and the umpires called proceedings to a halt and handed the match to the visitors by 12 runs on Duckworth Lewis, and the series lead 1-0.  

Tomorrow’s second match starts at 2pm (6am Monday NZ time).

BLACKCAPS: Brendon McCullum (c) shirt no. 42, Corey Anderson 78, Trent Boult 18, Tom Latham 23, Jimmy Neesham 83, Luke Ronchi (wk) 54, Ish Sodhi 61, Tim Southee 38, Ross Taylor 3, BJ Watling 47, Kane Williamson 22. 

West Indies: Darren Sammy (c) 88, Samuel Badree 77, Darren Bravo 46, Andre Fletcher 72, Sunil Narine 74, Kieron Pollard 55, Denesh Ramdin (wk) 80, Andre Russell 12, Krishmar Santokie 67, Lendl Simmons 54, Dwayne Smith 50.

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