New Zealand win rain-affected first T20I

New Zealand

A quickfire half-century from batsman Andre Fletcher and captain Darren Sammy's three key wickets proved in vain, as the West Indies slipped to a 12-run defeat at the hands of New Zealand.

A quickfire half-century from batsman Andre Fletcher and captain Darren Sammy's three key wickets proved in vain, as the West Indies slipped to a 12-run defeat at the hands of New Zealand in Saturday's rain-affected first Twenty20 International at Windsor Park in Dominica.

Rain reduced the series opener to 18 overs per side, with the Windies moving to 132 for eight on the back of Fletcher's standalone 52. His vigil included just one four and all of four sixes, spanning a mere 39 deliveries.

The hard-hitting right-hander's success was particularly important in the absence of the rested Chris Gayle – and early departures of openers Lendl Simmons and Dwayne Smith.

The New Zealand attack was collectively disciplined, with just five bowlers deployed. Seamers Tim Southee and Trent Boult were the pick of the bunch, continuing the fine stretch of form witnessed in the recent Test series against the same opposition with a brace each. Debutant leg-spinner Ish Sodhi, cherished the important removal of the half-centurion.

The Black Caps' response of a reduced target was rather stop-start. Openers Kane Williamson and Jimmy Neesham and all-rounder Corey Anderson all moved into the teens, but none were able to capitalise.

Skipper Brendon McCullum, however, was at hand en route to a match-winning 40 – ultimately denying opposite number Sammy's threatening figures of three for 22. Former captain Ross Taylor's quickfire 28 not out, too, facilitated triumph.

Fletcher's Man of the Match award afforded the Windies some consolation. The second and final T20I will be played at the same venue on Sunday.

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