New Zealand were superior all round against West Indies

Tags: WC Cricket 2015

Published on: Mar 22, 2015

WC 2015 NZ vs WI Match review: The first three quarter-finals of the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup had gone as per expectations.

The first three quarter-finals of the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup had gone as per expectations. South Africa outdid Sri Lanka, India overcame Bangladesh while Australia got the better of Pakistan. And if everything went according to prediction, New Zealand would have joined India, Australia and South Africa in the semi-finals, defeating West Indies, which is exactly what happened. At home, the Kiwis have always been superior against the Windies, and the knockout at Wellington was no different. The only way West Indies could have competed was if they had batted first, and Chris Gayle played a sensational knock. The left-hander did come up with a blitzkrieg, but it did not have an impact on the match, as Windies were never going to chase down New Zealand's massive total.

There are two ways of looking at how the semi-finals panned out. The first is that one man played such a sensational knock that nothing actually be done about the end result, as he singlehandedly decided it. On the contrary, it can also be argued that they bowled so poorly that they allowed Martin Guptill to dominate in unbelievable fashion. The result was actually a combination of both. Guptill played a knock that can only be described as a once in a lifetime one. Conversely, West Indies have had their chance when Marlon Samuels dropped Guptill early on. Had he held on, things could have been different since Brendon McCullum also fell cheaply.

However one decides to view the end result of the match, one thing cannot be taken away from Guptill --that he played one of the greatest World Cup knocks ever. He had a stroke of luck early on, but he displayed the hunger to carry on even though he had scored a ton in the previous clash against Bangladesh. Yes, West Indies possess one of the weakest bowling line- ups in world cricket, but the occasion was huge, and the pressure of a quarter-final would definitely have been there. Under the circumstances, Guptill's exhibition of clean hitting was special. He isn't renowned for his consistency, and doesn't have a great record against top- sides. But, on Saturday, he clearly made a statement of intent.

New Zealand's batting performance in a match was a massive boost for the Kiwis since it reiterated that they are not totally dependent on Brendon McCullum. In the last game as well, the Kiwis skipper fell early, so New Zealand have promising signs going into the semi-finals. The partnerships that Guptill featured in during the course of New Zealand's innings were also significant. For the second game in a row, Ross Taylor played a good supporting role, although he still did not look in good touch. Kane Williamson ensured there were no hiccups after McCullum fell early. Towards the end, Grant Elliott came in and played an impressive cameo.

West Indies' performance on the big quarters was not shocking. They had progressed mainly because they beat the minnows, and caught Pakistan off-guard. Their bowling was solely reliant on Jerome Taylor, Guptill exposed the same. Gayle's presence was rendered ineffective once the Kiwis had put up close to 400. Gayle, in spite of his injury, tried hard, but it was always going to be an effort in vain. The fact that West Indies reached 250 in 30 overs points to the fact that they played aggressive cricket. On the contrary, they were actually dismissed in the 31st over. Had they planned their chase better and had kept wickets in hand, West Indies could have competed. But, expecting that was too much from them.

--By A Cricket Analyst

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