Posted by Gareth Parry Added on: July 04 2012
West Indies 209 for 2 (Gayle 85*, Pollard 63*) beat New Zealand 153 (Nicol 32, Narine 3-34) by 56 runs
The West Indies hosted New Zealand in a two match Twenty20 series at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium in Florida. The West Indies had just returned from a gruelling and winless tour of England. However they had competed strongly throughout the series and were looking to build on their improving form. New Zealand, by contrast, came into the series after several months without playing together and were looking to have a strong start to their preparations for the World Twenty20 in September.
In the first match New Zealand won the toss and surprised many by electing to field first. The previous fixtures in the USA had been low scoring affairs with only four 6's scored in two matches played in the series between New Zealand and Sri Lanka in 2010. Dwayne Smith put paid to the fear that this would be the case again with two maximums in the opening over of the innings.
This was a sign of things to come as the West Indies posted a formidable total of 209. Chris Gayle started in circumspect fashion as the West Indies made a solid start to their innings. Smith and Charles both fell having made starts but it was the innings of Pollard that setup the West Indian total.
He and Gayle came together in the 14th over and put on a partnership of 108 in just 6.5 overs as both men finished with unbeaten half centuries. Pollard scored 63 runs in just 29 balls with 15 runs coming from the first four balls he faced as he signalled his intent.
Gayle was happy to play the support role to Pollard but when he hit three consecutive 6's in the 19th over he showed the hitting power that has made him one of the worlds most valuable twenty20 commodities. Gayle carried his bat to finish with 85 from only 52 balls with the New Zealand side run ragged.
There was little that the New Zealand side could take from their fielding display as they put down nearly half a dozen chances, bowled poorly and had 3 men injure themselves.
Their day got no better when they batted. New Zealand were able to start positively but lost wickets regularly. They also lost Ross Taylor, who had to retire hurt, early which effectively left them with only 9 batsmen as Hira was unable to bat after dislocating a finger fielding. It was little surprise when the visitors were dismissed for just 153 in the 19th over.
Sunil Narine, who endured a difficult series in England, was back to his best in familiar conditions and his return or 4-0-34-3 demonstrated that on more favourable pitches than in a wet and cold England he promises to be a key part of the West Indies attack.