Rain bails out struggling West Indies
Published: Thursday | January 1, 2009
West Indies' Xavier Marshall slides in to make his ground against New Zealand in the first one-day international cricket match at the Events Centre in Queenstown, New Zealand, yesterday. - AP
QUEENSTOWN, New Zealand (CMC):
Rain ruined the opening one-day international between New Zealand and West Indies yesterday, forcing the encounter to be abandoned at the Queenstown Events Centre after just two hours play.
West Indies, sent in to bat, were struggling on 129 for five in the 36th over when rain swept across the south-western end of South Island, driving players from the field for the third and final time.
Earlier, rain had twice halted play - after the first over with West Indies on one without loss and for the second time with the tourists on 49 for two in the 14th over.
The third break proved the longest and it effectively ended the contest which had bowled off with much anticipation, following the keenly contested two-match Twenty20 International series that ended on Sunday.
The inclement weather might have been a blessing in disguise for the tourists after they wasted two decent partnerships to lose their way at a crucial stage of the innings.
Captain Chris Gayle stroked 25 from 36 balls and Sewnarine Chattergoon hit 14 to post 42 for the first wicket, but both fell without addition to the score in successive overs.
Ramnaresh Sarwan, who top scored with 38 from 57 balls, then posted 60 for the third wicket with Xavier Marshall, who stroked an unbeaten 29, before West Indies lost three quick wickets for 21 runs in the space of 29 balls to plunge to 123 for five in the 34th and surrender the advantage.
Batting first in blustery, seamer-friendly conditions, Gayle and Chattergoon did well to navigate the early overs from the new ball pair of Kyle Mills and Mark Gillespie.
While both were cautious, they pounced on any opportunity to score. Gayle got the first boundary with a slash over point off Gillespie in the fourth over and Chattergoon followed up by smashing a full toss through cover off the last ball of the over.
The left-handed Gayle brightened proceedings when he whipped Mills off his legs over midwicket for a towering six in the ninth over, but he could never really find overdrive in the conditions.
West Indies lost their first wicket in the 12th over when Chattergoon was bowled, attempting to cut Gillespie but only succeeded in chopping the ball on to the stumps.
Gayle fell in the next over, adjudged caught behind by wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum off Mills, fending at a good length delivery that bounced a bit more. The batsman initially stood his ground and appeared disappointed by the decision.
Sarwan, short of runs on tour, looked ominous and together with Marshall, batted the Windies into a position on which they could build in the middle overs.
The right-hander emerged from a slow start to blossom nicely, the first of his three fours a superb drive down the ground off pacer Tim Southee (2-33) and his second, a rasping cut that dissected two fielders behind square.
Just when West Indies appeared set to push on, Sarwan swatted at left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori outside the off-stump, giving McCullum an easy catch at 102 for three in the 29th over.
Left-hander Brendan Nash looked at ease in scoring 12 from 13 balls but gave Southee the first of his two wickets, when he was bowled in the 34th over hitting across the line, at 117 for four.
Kieron Pollard never looked settled and his discomfort was ended when he sparred at an innocuous delivery from Southee to be caught at the wicket for three, leaving the Windies struggling at 123 for five.
Marshall and Denesh Ramdin, unbeaten on two, were perhaps just mulling over how best to steer West Indies out of their latest quandary when rain solved their problem, abruptly ending the affair.
The teams will now head to Christchurch for the second ODI scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday (9 p.m. Friday, Eastern Caribbean time).
|C Gayle c wkp McCullum b Mills||25|
|S Chattergoon b Gillespie||14|
|R Sarwan c wkp McCullum b Vettori||38|
|X Marshall not out||29|
|B Nash b Southee||12|
|K Pollard c wkp McCullum b Southee||3|
|+D Ramdin not out||2|
|TOTAL (5 wkts, 35.4 overs)||129|
Did not bat: J Taylor, N Miller, F Edwards, L Baker.
Fall of wickets: 1-42 (Chattergoon, 11.3 overs), 2-42 (Gayle, 12.2), 3-102 (Sarwan, 28.2), 4-117 (Nash, 31.3), 5-123 (Pollard, 33.1).
Bowling: Mills 7-0-23-1, Gillespie 7-1-31-1 (w3), Southee 7.4-0-33-2 (w1), Oram 6-0-16-0 (w1), Vettori 8-0-26-1.
NEW ZEALAND - Daniel Vettori (captain) Grant Elliott, Daniel Flynn, Mark Gillespie, Jamie How, +Brendon McCullum, Kyle Mills, Jacob Oram, Jesse Ryder, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor.
Result: Match abandoned (rain).
Umpires: Mark Benson, Tony Hill; TV - Evan Watkin.