WI avoid sweep with eight-wicket win
Victory in front of home crowd gives stand-in captain Rovman Powell a ‘special feeling’
WEST Indies under the guidance of vice-captain Rovman Powell managed to salvage some pride in the last fixture of their three-match T20 International series against New Zealand by registering an eight-wicket victory at Sabina Park yesterday.
Batting first, the touring New Zealanders were restricted to their lowest total of the series, 145, with the in-form batsman Glenn Phillips, who was later voted Man of the Series, top scoring with 46 runs from 21 deliveries. Right arm fast-medium bowler Odean Smith was the pick of the West Indies bowlers as he bagged career best figures of 3-29 from his allotted four overs.
In reply, thanks to a 102-run opening stand between Brandon King and Shamarh Brooks, the West Indies managed to reach their target of 146, with an over to spare.
Man of the Match King, playing in his first West Indies match on local soil, stroked a classy 53 from 35 deliveries. It was his fastest T20 International half-century. Brooks made an unbeaten 56 from 59 deliveries to register his first T20 International half-century. Captain for the day Powell saw the West Indies home with a cameo of 27 not out from 15 deliveries, inclusive of the game-winning boundary.
Speaking in his post-match interview Powell, said he wasn’t only pleased with the opportunity to captain the West Indies, but the display of the team throughout the match.
“As a boy you dream of playing for the West Indies, so imagine captaining the team in front of my home crowd, that’s a special feeling. Last night I spoke with the guys and asked them for their support and they gave me that today,” said Powell.
The West Indies made four changes prior to the start of the third and final T20 International game, with regular captain Nicholas Pooran among those rested. Also rested following the last match were Kyle Myers, Jason Holder and Obed McCoy and they were replaced by King, Dominic Drakes Alzarri Joseph and Akeal Hosein. The changes gave Powell a somewhat new-look bowling line-up and he said he planned out overnight on how he wanted to execute today’s job.
“We sat and we talked last night (Saturday night) on how hot the place is so I didn’t want the pace bowlers to be bowling two or three overs on the trot. That’s why I chopped and changed a lot just to keep them fresh and keep the New Zealand batters guessing,” Powell added.
With the West Indies losing the T20 International series 2-1 and avoiding their first whitewash in the shortened format by New Zealand in the Caribbean, the attention will now shift to the One-Day Internationals. The series will bowl off on Wednesday in Barbados.