BRIDGETOWN: Shamarh Brooks played the sheet anchor role to perfection in guiding the West Indies to a five-wicket victory over top-ranked New Zealand in a low-scoring opening day-night One-day International of a three-match series here at the Kensington Oval on Wednesday.
After the home side’s bowling combination pace and spin dismissed the visitors for 190 off 45.2 overs batting first, Brooks’ 91-ball 79 with nine fours and one six provided the much-needed solidity to take his team to 193 for five off 39 overs in reply.
His 72-run fourth-wicket partnership with captain Nicholas Pooran (28) steadied the chase and ensured there would be no repeat of the collapses which have become an all-too-common feature of their game in recent years.
“It was important just to get a start because this was not the easiest pitch to bat on,” said Brooks after receiving the man-of-the-match award.
“It was especially gratifying to be in a good partnership with the captain and to see the way he really buckled down, which is not his nature.”
Not only did the result mark New Zealand’s first ODI loss of the year but it also ended the Caribbean team’s abysmal run of nine consecutive losses in the 50 overs-per-side format.
More importantly, it earned them 10 vital points in the bid to qualify for next year’s World Cup in India.
Left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein and fast bowler Alzarri Joseph claimed three wickets each as the Black Caps, winners of the preceding T20 International series in Jamaica 2-1, laboured in the conditions earlier in the day with captain Kane Williamson top-scoring with 34.
Put in on a bright afternoon, New Zealand looked to be establishing the platform for a formidable total via an opening stand of 41 between Finn Allen (25) and Martin Guptill (24).
Hosein changed the complexion of the innings with the first three wickets but it was Joseph’s double-strike in the 30th over which proved the most incisive as he first trapped Daryl Mitchell leg-before and then induced an outside edge from Williamson’s bat to wicketkeeper Shai Hope.
A 40-run seventh-wicket stand between Michael Bracewell (31) and Mitchell Santner (25) gave New Zealand hope of pushing past 200 but Jason Holder claimed two wickets in two balls and Joseph wrapped up the innings in the 46th over when Trent Boult played on.
M. Guptill c Mayers b Hosein 24
F. Allen c Pooran b Hosein 25
K. Williamson c Hope b Joseph 34
D. Conway c Brooks b Hosein 4
T. Latham lbw Sinclair 12
D. Mitchell lbw Joseph 20
M. Bracewell lbw Cariah 31
M. Santner c Blackwood b Holder 25
T. Southee b Holder 12
L. Ferguson not out 0
Trent Boult b Joseph 1
EXTRAS (LB-1, W-1) 2
TOTAL (all out, 45.2 overs) 190
FALL OF WICKETS: 1-41 (Allen), 2-53 (Guptill), 3-63 (Conway), 4-88 (Latham), 5-116 (Mitchell), 6-122 (Williamson), 7-162 (Bracewell), 8-189 (Santner), 9-189 (Southee), 10-190 (Boult)
BOWLING: Holder 8-1-39-2; Hosein 10-0-28-3; Joseph 8.2-0-36-3 (1w); Sinclair 10-0-37-1; Cariah 9-0-49-1
S. Hope c Williamson b Southee 26
K. Mayers c Latham b Boult 6
S. Brooks b Boult 79
K. Carty lbw Santner 11
N. Pooran c Latham b Southee 28
J. Blackwood not out 12
J. Holder not out 13
EXTRAS (B-2, LB-2, 14w) 18
TOTAL (for five wickets, 39 overs) 193
DID NOT BAT: Kevin Sinclair, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Yannic Cariah
FALL OF WICKETS: 1-17 (Mayers), 2-37 (Hope), 3-74 (Carty), 4-149 (Pooran), 5-172 (Brooks)
BOWLING: Boult 10-0-49-2 (5w); Southee 10-0-39-2 (1w); Ferguson 8-0-55-0 (3w); Santner 7-0-25-1; Bracewell 4-0-21-0 (1w)
RESULT: West Indies won by five wickets.
MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: Shamarh Brooks
SERIES: West Indies lead three-match series 1-0.
Published in Dawn, August 19th, 2022