MATCH REPORT: New Zealand held their nerves in a closely contested match as the host begin their home season with a win

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New Zealand won the first of the three T20I’s as they mark the start of their home season with a victory. New Zealand in a rain affected made sure that they have this game in their hand after a bad start. New Zealand had won the toss and the captain  Tim Southee elected to bowl in the first match.

NZ were missing the services of Kane Williamson and Trent Boult. In place of these two, two debutants left handed batsman Devon Conway and pacer Kyle Jamieson who impressed in the ODI’s and tests against India, got their first game for the national side in T20’s.

The start wasn’t good for NZ side as they gave away 58 runs in three overs. The rain had already affected the game but didn’t affect the overs. That’s when NZ introduced Lockie Ferguson in the fourth over where he got two wickets in the same over. This where the momentum changed for NZ side and immediately Southee joined his bowler in the wickets column. West Indies lost 5 wickets within 13 deliveries and were reduced to the score of 59 for loss of 5 wickets.

At this moment, the match seemed to go in NZ’s way. But the captain of West Indian team Pollard wasn’t going down without a fight.  He played safe at first but then unleashed his power hitting skill as he powered through the NZ bowling line up by scoring 75 off just 37 deliveries. He made his team reach a respectable total along with Fabien Allen. The target for NZ was 176 in 16 overs as it was a rain affected match. Lockie Ferguson was pick of bowlers from the NZ side as he took a fifer and gave only 21 runs in his 4 over quota.

NZ didn’t start well as they found themselves in a tricky position as they were reduced to 63 runs at loss of 4 wickets. For NZ debutant Devon Conway played a decent and mature knock of 41 in just 29 deliveries. He was supported well by All rounder James Neesham. NZ lost Conway at score of 140. The team still needed 36 runs in 3 overs.

Neesham along with Santner made sure that the team goes over the line and won it for the team in the last over. While Neesham scored 48 off 24 deliveries, Santner provided the finishing touch by scoring 31 off 18 deliveries. He sealed the match off with a six for his team.

Lockie Ferguson was awarded the man of the match award for his impressive fifer in this high scoring match