The difference between almost winning and actually winning a match is that the former doesn’t count. New Zealand nearly won two of the three matches it played in the Super Eight stage of the ICC World Twenty20, but will take the flight home after it lost a second time in a Super Over.
New Zealand had to beat West Indies to remain in contention for the semifinals. After the scores were tied at 139, New Zealand set West Indies a total of 17 to get in the Super Over.
Chris Gayle hit the Super Over’s first ball from Tim Southee — a no-ball — over long off to set the tempo. Marlon Samuels, who came in with Gayle, got his place in the sun when he hit Southee’s fifth ball on to the stands to signal a West Indian win. In between the duo ran three singles, one two and was gifted a wide ball as well.
It would not have been this close had West Indies fielded better. In the last over, New Zealand needed 14 and captain Darren Sammy handed the ball to Samuels.
He started with a wide delivery to Kiwi skipper Ross Taylor. A yorker next saw Taylor play it back to Samuels.
A misfield off the next ball at short fine leg allowed Taylor a brace. He drove the next ball to long on for another two. A six over long leg left the team needing 3 from 2 balls.
Taylor preferred to take a single off the penultimate ball and left new batsman Doug Bracewell to score two for victory. He managed one and was out attempting the second to set up the Super Over.
New Zealand’s reply began badly with Rob Nicol missing the line to be caught in front by Ravi Rampaul. Like the West Indian batting earlier, New Zealand too did not build a partnership and its best effort was 33.
It was left to Taylor to bring in some well-directed aggression interspersed with sensible running between the wickets.
Earlier, put into bat, West Indies was bowled out in a T20 game for the first time. West Indies put up its highest Power Play score (60 runs), but lost two wickets inside the first six overs.
The first to get out was Johnson Charles, who looked confident and had his two boundaries. He punched a good length delivery back to bowler Bracewell, who took a regulation catch.
Andre Russell, promoted up, was middling every ball but unfortunately shuffled across to a Bracewell delivery and picked the fielder at short fine leg.
Just when consolidation was required, Gayle’s edginess let him down. Southee, who bowled exceptionally well, bowled one short of a good length on the off.
A tentative Gayle’s bat was hanging around the region. As the ball nipped away, it took the edge and Brendon McCullum completed the catch.
Then Nathan McCullum was in action. Marlon Samuels hit him straight down the ground but only saw Southee complete the catch at long-on.
Next to go was Darren Bravo, after he missed an attempt to run down McCullum to third man and the ball hit the stumps.
Sammy then tried to force the pace but his hit off Southee went straight to Franklin at deep midwicket.
New Zealand went into the match without Daniel Vettori, who missed due to a sore left Achilles. Bracewell was preferred over Kane Williamson and a fit Jacob Oram returned.
West Indies made the expected change of preferring a spinner over a paceman — Fidel Edwards making way for Samuel Badree.
West Indies: J. Charles c & b Bracewell 8 (9b, 2x4), C. Gayle c B. McCullum b Southee 30 (14b, 3x4, 2x6), A. Russell c Franklin b Bracewell 6 (6b, 1x6), M. Samuels c Southee b N. McCullum 24 (22b, 2x4, 1x6), D. Bravo b N. McCullum 16 (21b, 1x6), K. Pollard c Taylor b Bracewell 28 (22b, 3x4), D. Ramdin c Taylor b Hira 1 (2b), D. Sammy c Franklin b Southee 11 (12b, 1x4), S. Narine b Southee 3 (4b), S. Badree b Oram 1 (4b), R. Rampaul (not out) 1 (3b); Extras (lb-2, w-6, nb-2): 10; Total (in 19.3 overs): 139.
Fall of wickets: 1-14 (Charles), 2-36 (Russell), 3-61 (Gayle), 4-87 (Samuels), 5-98 (Bravo), 6-102 (Ramdin), 7-123 (Sammy), 8-133 (Pollard), 9-136 (Narine).
New Zealand bowling: Mills 2-0-25-0, Bracewell 4-0-31-3, Southee 4-0-21-3, Oram 1.3-0-17-1, Hira 4-0-24-1, N.McCullum 4-0-19-2.
New Zealand: R. Nicol lbw b Rampaul 3 (5b), M. Guptill c Samuels b Sammy 21 (27b, 2x4), B. McCullum b Badree 22 (18b, 3x4), R. Taylor (not out) 62 (40b, 3x4, 3x6), J. Franklin c Gayle b Narine 14 (14b, 1x4), J. Oram lbw b Narine 6 (9b), N. McCullum c Charles b Narine 5 (7b), D. Bracewell (run out) 1 (1b); Extras (lb-2, w-2, nb-1): 5; Total (for 7 wickets in 20 overs): 139.
Fall of wickets: 1-8 (Nicol), 2-41 (B. McCullum), 3-52 (Guptill), 4-85 (Franklin), 5-115 (Oram), 6-125 (N. McCullum), 7-139 (Bracewell).
West Indies bowling: Rampaul 4-0-23-1, Badree 4-0-18-1, Narine 4-0-20-3, Sammy 4-0-35-1, Pollard 2-0-13-0, Gayle 1-0-15-0, Samuels 1-0-13-0.
Super Over: New Zealand 17 for no loss lost to West Indies 19 for no loss.
Man-of-the-match: Sunil Narine.
Keywords: ICC World Twenty20