New Zealand had no answer either to West Indies’ big hitting or Sunil Narine’s spinning wonders, as they succumbed to defeat in the second T20 as well, at Lauderhill in Florida. The Kiwis just did not have the firepower to restrict the rampaging West Indians, and in the absence of Ross Taylor they were even more ineffective. Having been pummeled to submission in the first game, New Zealand needed to get off to a better start in the second T20. They did show early promise, sending back Dwayne Smith cheaply. However, they did not have the arsenal to stop a rampaging Chris Gayle.
Gayle took his time early on, but once set he was in his elements again. It did not help New Zealand that most of their bowlers were off colour. They were depending heavily on Doug Bracewell and Tim Southee, but both went for plenty – Bracewell at over 14 an over and Southee at over 10. Once that happened, the Kiwis were always going to struggle.
Nathan McCullum kept New Zealand in the hunt getting the key wickets of Gayle as well as Lendl Simmons. He was also well supported by Kyle Mills, who brought all his experience into play and gave away only four runs an over. Their efforts were, however, undone by Dwayne Bravo’s brilliance, whose cameo made the difference between a challenging and a match-winning total. Apart from Bracewelland Southee, the inexperienced Andrew Ellis also went for 10 runs an over, to add to Kiwis’ woes.
Evenwith their batting, New Zealand had nothing competitive to offer. They dearly missed some experience out in the middle as none of their batsmen managed to reach even 30. Kiwis’ inefficiency against spin stood exposed again, as Sunil Narine ended with excellent figures of 4 for 12. Narine accounted for both the openers, Rob Nicol as well as Martin Guptill, as a result of which the Kiwis were put under extreme pressure right from the word go. The desperation in the batting camp was evident from the fact thatSouthee was promoted to number three, a move that not surprisingly did not click.
A lot was expected of Kane Williamson, who was leading the side in the absence of Taylor. However, even he could not come up with a leader-like effort. His run out, in fact, symbolised New Zealand’s shambolic effort. Daniel Flynn tried to keep his side in the hunt with a couple of big hits. But by then irreparable damage had been done by then.
Even though this isn’t the team New Zealand will field in the World T20, they would still have hoped for a better effort to boost their confidence.
--By A Cricket Analyst