André Fletcher’s second half-century in as many days, paired with Sheldon Cottrell’s incisive three-wicket burst, propelled West Indies to a 39-run victory over New Zealand and a share of the two-match Twenty20 series yesterday.
Sent in at Windsor Park, West Indies rallied to 165 for six off 20 overs, thanks mainly to Fletcher’s top score of 62 off 49 deliveries, and Lendl Simmons’s 36.
In reply, New Zealand crashed from a healthy position of 82 for two in the 12th over, to a disappointing 126 all out with five balls left, as Cottrell snatched three for 28 from 3.1 overs.
Kane Williamson top scored with 37 from 28 balls, while captain Brendon McCullum and Ross Taylor both hit 21.
The victory by the Darren Sammy-led side left Windies fans with something to celebrate following the frustration of the Test series loss last week, and the defeat in the first T20I on Saturday.
Dwayne Smith crunched two fours off the first over from seamer Tim Southee, but had his stumps rattled in the bowler’s third over for nine, with the score on ten.
It paved the way for an enterprising second wicket stand between Fletcher and Simmoms, which proved the bedrock of the innings.
Fletcher looked in great touch, counting three fours and three sixes, while Simmons was fluent, striking the ball cleanly in gathering three fours and two sixes.
Following a quiet start, Fletcher exploded with a flicked boundary off seamer Jimmy Neesham, and then a six-over mid-wicket in the bowler’s first over that cost 11 runs.
Simmons followed suit in the next over from left-arm pacer Trent Boult, slicing a six over backward point, before depositing medium pacer Corey Anderson over the ropes at backward square, and then driving him sweetly for another four in the bowler’s second over, which went for 11 runs.
Fletcher was voted Man-of-the-Match and Man-of-the-Series.