Stubborn lower-order resistance from bowlers Yannic Cariah and Alzarri Joseph proved insufficient as devastating spells from Trent Boult and Tim Southee led New Zealand to a series-levelling 50-run (D/L) win over the West Indies on Friday.

In the rain-affected fixture at Kensington Oval, the West Indies, chasing New Zealand’s first innings total of 212, looked in real trouble at 27 for 6, and then 63 for 7 when the rain intervened.

On the resumption, Cariah and Joseph buckled down to steer the team into a much more competitive tally.  Cariah scored his maiden half-century with 52 from 84, while Joseph added 49 from 31.  The pair combined for 85, the highest partnership of the West Indies' innings.

Their brave resistance and the Windies' faint hope were ended when Joseph was bowled by Southee.   Cariah was the last man to go after being caught by Finn Allen off the bowling of Mitchell Santner.

Earlier, Southee and Boult had ransacked the Windies batting line-up as the pair eventually combined for 7 wickets.  Southee ended with 4 for 22 and Boult 3 for 18.  The pair’s early assault left the Windies six wickets down by the 10th over.

In New Zealand’s turn at the crease, Allen only narrowly missed out on a maiden century, after leading the team out of trouble at 31 for 3.  He was eventually dismissed on 96.

  Despite Allen’s heroics, the West Indies had another strong outing with the ball, which was led by spinner Kevin Sinclair’s maiden four-wicket haul.  Sinclair ended with 4 for 41 while all-rounder Jason Holder ended with 3 for 24.  

West Indies captain Nicholas Pooran has admitted the absence of frontline spinner Gudakesh Motie will be a huge blow for the team ahead of a crucial upcoming One Day International (ODI) series against New Zealand.

The 27-year-old spinner has not played since the first ODI against India where he fractured his thumb while fielding.  As a result, the player missed the second and third matches and the entire T20 series against India and New Zealand.   

With the three matches against New Zealand being the West Indies’ last remaining three fixtures in the ICC ODI Super League, and with the prospect to secure automatic qualification for the 2023 ICC World Cup in India on the line, Pooran would love to have all his best players available.  He has, however, expressed confidence that the team can make do with the available players.

“It’s a blow for us, especially looking at his performances in the Bangladesh series and how well he bowled in that first game against India,” Pooran told members of the media on Tuesday.

“I thought we were starting to get that chemistry between both him and Akeal (Hosein) they are two of the better spinners in the Caribbean but it is what it is,” he added.

“We hope he will recover and soon be available to us but having said that Kevin Sinclair is here, Yannic Cariah has gotten picked and we are backing them to deliver 100 percent.”

 

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