Neesham 48* trumps Pollard 75* as NZ win thriller

James Neesham and Lockie Ferguson combined to lead the team to a thrilling win in the first T20I match in Auckland. Kieron Pollard 37-ball 75 was not enough for the visiting team as the hosts chased the target in the final over. Ferguson claimed his first five-wicket haul to dent the West Indies innings as they lost five wickets for just one run.

See also: Smith, Finch tons power Aussies to dominating win

In the first T20I match between New Zealand and West Indies, the hosts win it in a thrilling fashion. West Indies became the first team to have their second tour amid coronavirus pandemic after visiting England in July. In a rain-reduced match, West Indies scored 180 runs in their allocated 16 overs which the hosts chased it down with four balls to spare.

West Indies innings – Pollard’s magic

Andre Fletcher and Brandon King were the West Indies openers. The duo started in a destructive manner. Hitting boundaries in small Eden Park. Fletcher was the aggressive of the two, hitting three fours and three sixes in his brief stay.

West Indies scored fifty runs in the 3rd over. Fletcher was the first to go. He departed for 34 runs off just 14 balls hitting three fours and three maximums. Score, 58-1 in 3.2 overs. However, something strange happened. 11 balls later the score was 59-5. Losing five wickets in the matter of just 11 balls for just one run. That is West Indies team for you.

The collapse brining out captain Kieron Pollard and Fabian Allen on the crease. And the pair went bingo. They scored 84-run partnership to lift the score to 143-6.

Kieron Pollard smashed 75 runs off 37 balls with 8 sixes

But, the performance of the day belonged to Kieron Pollard. He scored 75 runs off just 37 balls hitting four 4s and eight 6s.

The score reached a well fighting, 180-7 in 16 overs. The target was reset to 176 in 16 overs by Duckworth-Lewis method.

Lockie Ferguson and Tim Southee were in-charge of the collapse of five wickets for just one run. Ferguson ended with figures of 5-21 and Southee picked up two wickets. The rest of the bowlers went wicketless.

New Zealand innings – James Neesham saves the day for New Zealand

Chasing 176 in just 16 overs, you must require your openers to do well. But, that didn’t happen. New Zealand lost Martin Guptill in the first over for just 5.

Wickets continued to tumble as the score reached 63-4 in the 7th over with Ross Taylor the latest victim who ran out for 0. Devon Conway and James Neesham combined on the crease with still needing 113 runs to win.

Conway scored 41 runs off 29 balls and was got out in the 13th over after putting on 77-run partnership with Neesham, score 140-5.

James Neesham made unbeaten 48 runs win it for New Zealand

Still needing 36 runs in 22 balls. Mitchell Santner joined Neesham on the crease and the pair took the team home without any further loss. Neesham remained not out on 48 runs off 24 balls with five 4s and three 6s while Santner hit three maximums in his not out innings of 31 runs. New Zealand win the match.

Oshane Thomas picked up two wickets for 23 runs while Sheldon Cottrell and Kieron Pollard picked up one wicket each.

Lockie Ferguson, for his bowling performance of 5/21, was the man of the match.

Man of the Match: Lockie Ferguson

Result: New Zealand win by 5 wickets (D/L method)

Series: New Zealand lead the three-match T20I series 1-0