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Windies implode despite making mammoth 180 against New Zealand

West Indies made a mammoth 180-7 in just 16 overs in their frist Twenty20 International against New Zealand but still the Kiwis snatched a five-wicket victory to take 1-0 series lead on Friday.

Electing to field first, Kieron Pollard led a perfect West Indies recovery steering his side to a formidable total. New Zealand were 63-4 inside seven overs but James Neesham held firm with two crucial partnerships as New Zealand reached the revised target of 176 scoring 179-5 in 15.2 overs.

The match was reduced to 16 overs a side due to rain. New Zealand were under pressure of a big chase but James Neesham brought them back in the game after he hit 22 runs in the 10th over from Kesrick Williams leaving the hosts with 58 to win from 36 balls. Sheldon Cottrell rescued the Windies conceding just seven runs in the 11th to wrest back the control.

But New Zealand got themselves into the driving seat after collecting 13 runs in the 12th from Keemo Paul as 38 from 24 looked achievable for New Zealand. Pollard introduced himself with the ball and got the prized wicket of Devon Conway ending a 77-run partnership.

Lockie Ferguson was phenomenal with five-for.

Conway made 41 off 29 with five fours and a six. Pollard conceded nine runs as New Zealand needed 29 from the last 18 balls. Keemo Paul didn’t concede a boundary in the 14th over but bled 14 runs after he bowled four no-balls as the game came well within New Zealand’s grasp needing 15 from last 12.

Cottrel was the only remaining hope for Windies but the fast bowler was smashed for six by Mitchell Santner in the third ball with the Kiwis collecting 11 runs. Santner smashed Pollard for a six in the second ball of the last over handing his side a sensational victory.

Santner, who shared 39 runs for the sixth wicket in just 18 balls with Neesham, made a decisive 31 off 18 deliveries. Neesham was unbeaten on 24-ball 48 hitting five fours and three sixes.  

Earlier, West Indies got a quickfire start through Andre Fletcher reaching close to 60 inside four overs but they sensationally lost five wickets for the addition of just one run to be 59-5 before the powerplays.

West Indies’ 180 consisted of a belligerent 75 not out from Kieron Pollard.

Pollard, whose T20 batting exploits was crucial in handing Mumbai Indians the Indian Premier League trophy, added 84 runs for the sixth wicket with Fabian Allen. He played a lone hand carrying his team to 180 after the fall of Allen. Pollard scored 75 not out from 35 balls with eight sixes and four boundaries.

Allen’s 26-ball 40 included four hits to the fence and one over. Man-of-the-match Lockie Ferguson took 5-21 from four overs and Tim Southee returned the figures of 2-22 from three.

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