NZ v WI, 1st ODI, Review: New Zealand win by five wickets courtesy Doug Bracewell and Todd Astle

NZ v WI, 1st ODI, Review: New Zealand win by five wickets courtesy Doug Bracewell and Todd Astle

Taylor was denied a half-century by Powell by bowling a wide which was eventually the winning run.

Todd Astle and Ross Taylor
Todd Astle and Ross Taylor of New Zealand leave the field after winning the first match. (Photo by Dave Rowland/Getty Images)

New Zealand continued to dominate in their home conditions over the visitors and have taken a 1-0 lead in the three-match ODI series. The two teams locked horns for the first time in the limited-overs leg of the ongoing tour of the team from the Caribbean nation as they struggled to compete yet again alike Tests. The victory for the hosts was scripted by the bowlers Doug Bracewell and Todd Astle who shared seven wickets between them. However, their batsmen also had to work hard in the chase as George Worker, Colin Munro and Ross Taylor contributed majorly.

Kane Williamson won the toss and opted to bowl first on a wicket which had a tinge of green on it on a lovely sunny day in Whangarei at Cobham Oval. The Kiwis handed over a debut to the leg-spinner Todd Astle and Doug Bracewell also made his comeback into the side after a long time. Windies, on the other hand, looked short on experience but were immensely bolstered by the inclusion of Chris Gayle who had just recently scored a blistering ton in the final of Bangladesh Premier League (BPL).

Windies batting capitulate again

The openers Gayle and Evin Lewis started off decently as they saw off the new ball without losing their wickets and were expected to go bonkers. But the former was scalped by Bracewell soon after the first power play as Shai Hope also followed him for a golden duck. Then Shimron Hetmyer joined Lewis and resurrected the innings with a 61-run partnership for the third wicket. But Hetmyer threw away his wicket like he did in Tests as the visitors lost wickets in clumps again. They were reduced to 134/5 from 103/2 in the space of seven overs.

Amidst all the wickets falling at the other end, Lewis kept his cool and notched up a half-century looking solid and determined to get a big one. But Windies’ hopes of getting anywhere close to 300 were shattered when the debutant Astle caught Lewis in front in the 36th over. Though Rovman Powell saved blushes with an attacking 59 off just 50 deliveries which propelled them to a respectable yet below par score 248/9 after their 50 overs.

The comeback man Bracewell was the star with the ball for the Kiwis as he finished with the figures of 4/55. He was well supported by Todd Astle by picking 3 wickets for just 33 runs in his quota of 10 overs. Lockie Ferguson was the other wicket-taker as the premier quicks Trent Boult and Tim Southee went wicketless on the day.

Openers lay solid foundation in the chase

New Zealand required a good start in a not so tall chase and it was provided firmly by George Worker and Colin Munro. They added 108 in less than 17 overs as the visiting bowlers didn’t have any ideas on how to dismiss them. Munro though was the first to succumb to the slower one from Kesrick Williams and missed a well-deserved half-century by one run. Worker was also scalped by Ashley Nurse soon on 57 but the hosts were well on course by then. The skipper Williamson and Taylor then stitched a half-century stand for the third wicket to shrug off any chances of a comeback for Windies.

The former was castled by his counterpart Jason Holder but Taylor was steady throughout and was unperturbed despite late fall of wickets. His presence ensured there was no panic at the end as New Zealand chased down the total in 46 overs with five wickets in hand. Though he was denied a half-century by Powell who bowled a wide when he was on 49 which eventually was a winning run for the home side. Nurse and Holder picked a couple of wickets each as Williams was the other wicket-taker. But they needed a special performance from someone to upset the Kiwis in their own den.

Bracewell was awarded the Man of the Match for his stupendous efforts with the ball and he would love to continue in the same vein. The second match of the series will be played on Saturday at Hagley Oval in Christchurch which will be a must-win encounter for the visitors.

Brief Scores

Windies 248/9 after 50 overs (E Lewis 76, R Powell 59; D Bracewell 4/55, T Astle 3/33)

New Zealand 249/5 after 46 overs (G Worker 57, R Taylor 49*, C Munro 49; J Holder 2/52, A Nurse 2/55)

Result: New Zealand won by 5 wickets

Man of the Match: Doug Bracewell