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West Indies beat New Zealand in Super Over to keep Semi-final hopes alive

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gayle_stormThe West Indies kept their hopes of making the semi-finals of the World T20 alive with a hard fought win over New Zealand in a Super Over. Batting first, the Windies were bowled out for an under par score of 139 with none of their batsmen getting past 30. Doug Bracwell and Tim Southee picked up 3 wickets apiece to put New Zealand on top. However, the Kiwi batsmen once again flattered to deceive with the exception of Skipper Ross Taylor, who made an unbeaten 62 from just 40 balls. It wasn't enough though as New Zealand ended on 139-7 in their 20 overs. In the subsequent Super Over, New Zealand posted a very competitive 17 runs, but the West Indies got over the finish line with a ball to spare with Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels doing the business.

With matches in the Super Eights being consistently won by sides chasing, it came as no surprise that the New Zealand skipper Ross Taylor decided to have a bowl on winning the toss in Pallekele on the final day of matches in that wonderful yet rain deprived city.

There were a few edits to both line-ups with New Zealand forced to make do without Daniel Vettori due to injury, with young Ronnie Hira taking the veteran allrounder's place. However, big Jacob Oram recovered from his stomach bug to return to the side with another youngster Kane Williamson unfortunate to miss out with the Kiwis opting to strengthen their bowling instead.

The West Indies also made two changes to their side with Darren Bravo coming into the side in place of brother Dwayne, who missed out due to a groin strain. Fidel Edwards, who had a poor game last time out, was replaced by the leg spinner Samuel Badree.

The West Indies with one eye on the net run rate went too hard too early and as a result lost momentum in their innings. Johnson Charles was caught off his own bowling by Doug Bracewell for 8, and pinch hitter Andre Russell hit one maximum before becoming Bracewell's second victim.

Chris Gayle made a quick fire 30 from just 14 before becoming the first of Tim Southee's three victims. At 61-3 in the 7th over, the West Indies still had the run rate on their side, but that changed quickly with Darren Bravo once again showing his inability to play T20 cricket, making a slow 16 from 21 balls before being bowled by Nathan McCullum. Between the dismissal of the two left-handers, the West Indies also lost Marlon Samuels for 24, leaving their innings in complete disarray at 98-5.

The tail wagged briefly thanks to a crucial 28 from Kieron Pollard to help the team along to 139, before being bowled out in the final over with 3 balls to spare. Southee and Bracewell each ended with 3 wickets, while Nathan McCullum had exceptional figures of 2-19 as well.

Chasing just 139 to win, New Zealand were in the driver's seat, but Ravi Rampaul made things interesting by trapping Rob Nicol leg before for 3 in his second over. New Zealand made steady progress in the powerplay, ending at 34-1 at the end of it, opting to keep wickets intact for a late rush rather than giving it a tonk early on.

The Kiwi batsmen got off to starts, but lost Brendon McCullum for 22 and Martin Guptill for 21 in quick succession as New Zealand slipped to 52-3 in 9 overs. Skipper Ross Taylor and James Franklin showed cool heads and added another 33 for the 4th wicket before the latter was dismissed by Sunil Narine for a run a ball 14, caught brilliantly by Chris Gayle at slip. At 99-4 in 15 overs, the game was there for either side to win.

Taylor kept firing from one end, but got absolutely no support from the other with Oram (6) and Nathan McCullum (5), failing to give their skipper the required company.

Sunil Narine was exceptional with the ball, conceding 5 runs from his last 2 overs to keep the Windies in the game. With 14 required from the last over, the West Indies tossed the ball to Marlon Samuels, a good start from the offie pushed the requirement up to 9 from 3 when Taylor smacked the ball for 6 to bring the equation down to 3 from 2. A single to Taylor brought Bracewell on strike, and the allrounded was run out trying to steal a second to force yet another Super Over.

Bizarrely, West Indies tossed the ball to Samuels for the Super Over too, instead of Narine. This time the allrounder conceded 17 to put the Kiwis in the driver's seat. Taylor did the business for his team, smashing a 4 and 6 off consecutive deliveries.

There are few grounds though big enough to contain Chris Gayle, and the powerful opener smashed the first ball of Tim Southee's over for 6 to bring his side right back into the contest. To make matters worse, Southee had bowled a no-ball, thus giving the Windies 7 free runs. With 11 needed from 6 balls, some steady cricket saw the West Indies past the finish line with a ball to spare with Samuels hitting the 5th ball of the over for 6.

New Zealand have been knocked out of the tournament, but the West Indies are still very much in the hunt for a semi-final berth, and will have their eyes glued to the Sri Lanka - England game to see if they make it through.


New Zealand: M Guptill, R Nicol, B McCullum (wk), R Taylor (c), J Franklin, J Oram, D Bracewell, R Hira, N McCullum, T Southee, K Mills

West Indies: J Charles, C Gayle, D Bravo, M Samuels, K Pollard, A Russell, D Ramdin (wk), D Sammy (c), S Narine, R Rampaul, S Badree

Mini Scorecard:

West Indies 139 all out (19.3 overs, 7.12rpo)
C Gayle 30 (14) T Southee 3-21
K Pollard 28 (22) D Bracewell 3-31

New Zealand 139/7 (20 overs, 6.95rpo)
R Taylor 62* (40) S Narine 3-20
B McCullum 22 (18) S Badree 1-18

New Zealand 17-0, West Indies 19-0 in 5 balls

West Indies win in Super Over