It is redemption time for New Zealand after being outdone by West Indies in the first of two T20s being played in US.
The matches, being played back to back, are a new experience for both teams and West Indies came out on top on Saturday. The second T20 will be played on Sunday.
West Indies cruised to a comfortable 56-run win in the first match, bringing their barren run to an emphatic end. There was plenty of discussion about the pitch before the match started, given the memories of poor tracks two years ago.
However, the surface used in the first match was perfect for batting and the likes of Chris Gayle and Keiron Pollard made full use of it. They will yet again be central to West Indies’ hopes of posting a big total.
There is still depth in the batting with Marlon Samuels and Dwayne Bravo having played key roles in various T20 leagues recently. The bowlers enjoyed the evening, having plenty of runs to play with. Sunil Narine’s three wickets came as no surprise given his wicket-taking knack.
New Zealand will be disappointed with their effort, having been thoroughly outdone in all departments on the game. Their bowlers will need to lift their game tremendously as they look to devise a plan to outdo Gayle and Pollard.
The duo toyed around with Kiwi bowling, leaving captain Ross Taylor with no ideas to stem the run flow. The batsmen too were guilty of getting in and getting out with no one playing the anchor role. Rob Nicol’s 32 was the highest score and expectations will be higher off the likes of Martin Guptill, Taylor and Jacob Oram. With Ronnie Hira injured, New Zealand also will have to make changes to their starting line-up.
A reasonable crowd showed up for the match and expectations are higher for Sunday, when the action gets underway at 2pm local time.