The aggression and pace of fast bowler Adam Milne and wicketkeeper-batsman Luke Ronchi's inventive shot selection stood at the fore of New Zealand's four-wicket win – and two-nil series triumph – over the West Indies.
The aggression and pace of fast bowler Adam Milne and wicketkeeper-batsman Luke Ronchi's inventive shot selection stood at the fore of New Zealand's four-wicket win – and two-nil series triumph – over the West Indies in Wednesday's final Twenty20 International at Westpac Stadium in Wellington.
The result will marginally hamper the Windies' bid to defend their World Twenty20 title in Bangladesh in March, while the thorough margin will see the Black Caps enter the showpiece among the favourites.
While the tourists were able to shrug off a rickety start, ultimately posting a formidable total of 159 for five on the back of the recalled Denesh Ramdin's quickfire half-century, the bowlers were unable to complete the task.
Milne proliferated the headlines in the build-up to the fixture, with plenty of suggestion of fire and venom duly obliged. The pace ace completed figures of two for 22, including the key departure of opener Johnson Charles.
The Kiwis' reply copped early alarm, with the talented Martin Guptill perishing early. The hard-hitting Jesse Ryder and captain Brendon McCullum, however, were soon at hand to settle prevailing nerves.
Former skipper Ross Taylor then kept the hosts in the hunt, nurturing a cool, calm and collected innings. Ronchi, named Man of the Match and Player of the Series, formed the backbone of the chase – and added an unbeaten 51 to the 48 not out scored in the first match at Eden Park in Auckland.
All-rounder Jimmy Neesham, true to form, struck the winning runs off fast bowler Tino Best – six over midwicket and four through fine-leg proved ample. The New Zealanders will begin an ODI series against India on Sunday, while the West Indians will prepare for England's arrival to the Caribbean in early March.
Warwickshire batsman Dominic Sibley delivered another timely reminder that he may be the man for England’s winter tour.
Kyle Abbott claimed Hampshire’s best-ever bowling figures as Somerset’s hopes of winning County Championship title take hefty blow.
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