New Zealand recorded a 12-run victory courtesy of the Duckworth/Lewis method in the first Twenty20 International against West Indies in Dominica.
The Black Caps had reached 117-4 with 18 balls remaining in reply to the home team’s total of 132-8 after the match had been cut back to 18 overs-a-side due to an earlier delay.
The bad weather had returned for much of New Zealand’s run chase at Windsor Park, making it particularly tough for both the bowlers and fielders. With the game firmly in their control and the light fading rapidly, the umpires decided to call off proceedings early.
West Indies’ innings had been held up for 90 minutes due to heavy rain, though having struggled to 22-2 in the powerplay overs they were probably grateful for the break in their innings.
Lendl Simmons was the first wicket to go when he was trapped lbw by Trent Boult for just a single, while opening partner Dwayne Smith had reached eight when he was caught off the bowling of Tim Southee.
However Andre Fletcher and Darren Bravo (30) lifted the pace with a 78-run stand either side of the delay, the pair seemingly setting the platform for a late onslaught.
Instead, though, New Zealand turned the screw after dismissing Fletcher for 52, the right-hander having hit four sixes and a four in his 39-ball knock before top-edging a catch to short third man off the bowling of leg-spinner Ish Sodhi.
Darren Sammy briefly entertained the crowd, launching a six and a four as he made 10 off four deliveries, but the hosts rather faltered at the finish.
The excellent Southee, who finished with fine figures of 2-20 from his four overs, removed the dangerous Kieron Pollard for a run-a-ball 16. He was also involved in the dismissal of Sammy, taking the catch after the all-rounder had spliced a Boult short ball up in the air.
New Zealand’s reply was led by their captain, Brendon McCullum, as he made 40 off 35 balls, including hitting three fours and a six. Cleverly he always made sure his team were ahead of the required rate should the game suddenly be halted, despite the fact they regularly lost wickets.
With five overs needed to make a match official they took left-arm seamer Krishmar Santokie for 17 just before the cut-off point, then made sure they were never behind the par score from then on.
Sammy did pick up three wickets with the ball, McCullum one of them when he hit his opposite number straight out to deep square leg, but Ross Taylor’s unbeaten 28 kept the Kiwis on course.
The second and final match of the series takes place on Sunday at the same venue, live on Sky Sports.