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New Zealand vs West Indies at the World Cup


New_Zealand_West_Indies_World_Cup_ODI_CricketThe West Indies may have amassed 421 in their World Cup warm-up against New Zealand last month, but the crunch encounter between the two teams in the tournament proper, to be played at Old Trafford on June 22, is expected to be a completely different kettle of fish. The Windies have faced the Black Caps seven times at the World Cup so far, and have lost on four occasions, including the last three. As we look forward to the fixture, here is a look back at those instances.

West Indian pacers pack a punch – Semifinal, The Oval, 1975

After being put in to bat in this second semifinal of the inaugural World Cup, New Zealand rode on a second-wicket stand of 90 between captain Glenn Turner and Geoff Howarth (51) to reach a solid 98/1, thus raising hopes of reaching a competitive total. However, Andy Roberts opened the floodgates by removing both batsmen in quick succession, after which his fellow pacemen Bernard Julien (4/27) and Vanburn Holder (3/30) combined to dismantle the rest of the line-up.

New Zealand ultimately lost their last nine wickets for just 60 runs to be bowled out for 158 in the 53rd over. The West Indies lost Roy Fredericks early, but Gordon Greenidge (55) and Alvin Kallicharan (72) put on 125 for the second wicket to shut New Zealand out. Richard Collinge (3/28) induced a wobble with three wickets, but it was too late in the innings. The West Indies made it to the final by achieving a comprehensive five-wicket win with nearly 20 overs to spare.

Lloyd plays a captain’s knock – Group Stage, Trent Bridge, 1979

Defending champions West Indies topped Group B by beating New Zealand by 32 runs in their last group match. Greenidge held the top order together with a composed 65, before he was third out at 117. His dismissal brought Lloyd to the middle, and though New Zealand kept chipping away with wickets, the West Indian captain stayed put, scoring an unbeaten 73 to steer the total to 244/7. The unbroken eighth-wicket stand between Lloyd and Joel Garner was worth a vital 40.

New Zealand, who were without an injured Howarth, never really got going in the chase. Jeremy Coney and captain Mark Burgess attempted to give the scoring rate a push, but at 160/7, the writing was on the wall for the Kiwis. Richard Hadlee struck a breezy 42 from number eight, which helped in taking the total towards 212/9. The West Indies went on to clinically beat Pakistan in the semifinal, before outclassing England at Lord’s to successfully defend their title.

Greatbatch and Crowe shine at Eden Park – League Stage, Auckland, 1992

Co-hosts New Zealand made it five wins out of five matches at the 1992 World Cup with a five-wicket win over the West Indies at Eden Park. Not for the first time, captain Martin Crowe handed the new ball to off-spinner Dipak Patel, who responded by bowling stingily early on, even though Desmond Haynes and Brian Lara (52) added 65 for the first wicket. Disciplined bowling throughout the innings ensured that the West Indies were limited to 203/7 after 50 overs.

Southpaw Mark Greatbatch dominated an opening stand of 67 with Rod Latham, which provided an ideal base for New Zealand. He was third out for a 77-ball 63 with the score reading 100, but Crowe took over thereafter with an assertive performance. While the Windies managed to keep the batsmen at the other end quiet, they could not gain the upper hand over Crowe, who stayed unbeaten on 81 from as many balls to secure New Zealand’s five-wicket win with nine balls left.

New Zealand come a cropper – Group Stage, Southampton, 1999

Having beaten Bangladesh and Australia in their first two games, New Zealand were looking to extend their good start to the tournament against the West Indies at the County Ground in Southampton. But Brian Lara put them in to bat under grey skies on a seaming pitch, and the West Indian pace attack seized full advantage of the conditions on offer. Curtly Ambrose got rid of Nathan Astle in the second over, soon after which Courtney Walsh accounted for Matt Horne.

Reon King added to New Zealand’s woes by removing captain Stephen Fleming and Roger Twose for ducks, leaving the score at 31/4 in the 17th over. Phil Simmons and Mervyn Dillon (4/46) kept up the pressure, and though the lower order staged a bit of a comeback, the final total read 156 in 48.1 overs, with all wickets falling to catches – five of them to wicketkeeper Ridley Jacobs. Jacobs then hit 80* as opener to take the Windies to a seven-wicket win in the 45th over.

Adams’ all-round show buoys the Black Caps – Group Stage, Port Elizabeth, 2003

This was the second match of the tournament for both teams. While the West Indies had pipped hosts South Africa in their first outing, New Zealand had gone down to Sri Lanka. Astle (who top-scored with 46) and Chris Cairns added 64 for the fourth wicket after New Zealand had fallen to 66/3, but the medium pace of Wavell Hinds (3/35) reduced the score to 147/6. Chris Harris and Brendon McCullum put on 41, before the former’s loss led to Andre Adams’ arrival.

Adams struck 35* off 24 balls in an eighth-wicket stand of 53*, thereby boosting the total to 241/7. He later made a significant impact with his pace bowling, scalping Chris Gayle, Hinds and captain Carl Hooper to leave the West Indies in dire straits at 46/5. Ramnaresh Sarwan (75) and Jacobs (50) shared in a seventh-wicket stand of 98, but the asking rate was getting steeper. It was Adams (4/44) who finished things off, castling Dillon to seal a 20-run win for New Zealand.

Windies stutter in Antigua – Super Eight Stage, North Sound, 2007

Two days after a 103-run defeat to Australia in their first Super Eight fixture, hosts West Indies suffered another sizeable reversal, this time at the hands of New Zealand. The West Indian batsmen found the going tough after being inserted by Fleming, as pacers Jacob Oram (3/23) and Shane Bond (3/31) dented their hopes of setting a tricky target. Left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori (3/39) got into the act as well, contributing towards condemning the total to 177 in the 45th over.

Darren Powell bowled Peter Fulton for a duck off the second ball, and later also took the wicket of Hamish Marshall to make the score 36/2. Fleming moved to a steady 45 before being run out with the score at 77, at which point Scott Styris (80* in 90 balls) was joined by Craig McMillan. The experienced pair saw to it that there was no further damage, as they built an unbroken fourth-wicket partnership of 102 to bring up New Zealand’s seven-wicket win in the 40th over.

Guptill smashes his way into the record books – Quarterfinal, Wellington, 2015

The group stage of the 2015 World Cup had seen Gayle break the record for the highest individual score in World Cup history, with 215 against Zimbabwe. Less than a month later, in the fourth quarterfinal, Gayle could only watch as Martin Guptill grabbed his record with an astonishing display at the Westpac Stadium. The West Indies saw the back of captain McCullum and Kane Williamson with 89 runs on the board, but Guptill was not going to let them capitalise.

By the time Guptill’s third-wicket stand of 143 with Ross Taylor ended in the 39th over, he was already on 140. He reserved his most savage hitting for the last ten overs, from which New Zealand collected 153 runs. He crossed 200 off 152 balls in the 48th over, and went on to finish with 237* off 163 balls, studded with 24 fours and 11 sixes, to power the Black Caps to 393/6. In reply, the West Indians were bowled out for 250 in just 30.3 overs, with Trent Boult taking 4/44.

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Rustom Deboo is a cricket aficionado and freelance writer from Mumbai. He is an ardent devotee of T...

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