In the third and ultimately meaningless Twenty20 International that was played on Sunday at Sabina Park between West Indies and New Zealand, opening batsmen Brandon King and Shamarh Brooks each scored fifty runs to assist West Indies to an easy eight-wicket victory (August 14). Despite the fact that the hosts had already dropped the first two games of the series, they were able to surpass the 146-run mark with an over to spare.
After being given the option to bat first, New Zealand’s innings struggled to get off the ground. In the beginning of the match, Dominic Drakes bowled a tight session while Akeal Hosein contributed by taking a couple of wickets. However, the currently dominant performance of Glenn Phillips was the saving grace for his squad. As he walked out to bat in the ninth over, he got involved in some early action in the middle before getting away from it. In the 14th over, he muscled Alzarri Joseph for a boundary and a six off successive deliveries. First, he swiped through backward point for a four, and then he reverse scooped for a six. These two shots came off consecutive deliveries.
Even though Kane Williamson, who had added 47 for the fourth wicket with Phillips, fell soon after, the hard-hitter continued to keep the attack on the hosts for a few overs from thereon, including swiping Hosein for a six over backward square leg. From thereon, the hard-hitter continued to keep the attack on the hosts for the remainder of the innings. Late in their innings, New Zealand was able to score only 145 runs thanks to a triple strike by Odeon Smith.
As a result of the openers establishing a strong 102-run foundation in just 79 balls, West Indies batsmen were required to exert very minimal effort in their pursuit of the objective. Even though Shamarh Brooks got off to a good start by hitting a boundary in the opening over, he still had a hard time getting going overall, especially when up against Lockie Ferguson’s pace.
Nevertheless, King, who had generally avoided the strike in the first four overs, broke loose and smashed Santner for consecutive boundaries in the fifth over. The first boundary was achieved by cutting off the backfoot, and the second was accomplished by stepping out. In the following match against Tim Southee, he improved upon his previous performance by hitting the pacer for a six over the mid wicket and then hammering him for a couple of boundaries, collecting 18 runs in total from the over.
Even Brooks let loose during the eighth over of the game, hitting Ish Sodhi for sixes off of three consecutive balls. The damage done up to that point was sufficient to put New Zealand in a position where they were playing from behind, even if Lockie Ferguson was limiting the run scoring and Brooks kept going back on a shell.
King was out shortly after reaching his half-century when he top-edged a pull off Southee to deep square leg. New Zealand got another wicket in the following over when they dismissed Devon Smith for a run-a-ball five, but they were unable to change the trajectory of West Indies’ chase for the target. Rovman Powell delivered some important knocks in the later stages of the game, while Brooks fought his way to an unbeaten score of 56 from 59 balls.
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