The ODI series between West Indies and New Zealand will continue in Barbados on Friday evening when the two sides lock horns in the second match of the three that will be played, one which will either see the series won or a decider forced.
I think it is fair to say that West Indies surprised a lot of people when they won the opening game of the series and they can claim the spoils, and more importantly 10 more valuable World Cup qualifying series points with another win here. New Zealand need to win to take the series to a decider.
It wasn’t an absolutely flawless performance in the opening match of the series but when you consider West Indies had lost nine straight ODIs going into it I don’t think anyone in their dressing room will care a jot about the performance. It was always going to be all about the result. Now that they have gone 1-0 up in the series they might want to play a little better but even then with their position in the World Cup qualifying standings it is probably all about the result here too.
The one thing that West Indies did do well in that opening match was assess the conditions very quickly. That is often the defining factor in any white ball match but Nicholas Pooran realised the spinners were the ones to utilise and in return those spinners worked out how to bowl on the pitch. West Indies weren’t perfect with the bat but with rain coming and going they could be forgiven for just wanting to get the match over and done with.
The performance of New Zealand in the opening ODI came as a big surprise. They have been a good team in this format for a long time but they seemed as though they hadn’t played in it for an age and it showed in the end result. New Zealand can’t really have conditions as an excuse because they had just played three T20s and although they were in Jamaica rather than Barbados, there wasn’t too much difference in the conditions from one to the other. They just looked surprisingly timing and will need to sort that out if they are going to win this one.
It is hard to judge their bowlers on that opening effort because at no stage did it look like they had enough runs on the board. The one thing you would say about the bowling was that the seamers were a little expensive so whether they choose to go in with bowlers who take pace off the ball, whether that is a spinner or a medium pacer who is adept at that. They also need a better intensity. It is hard because they have been away from home on various tours for a while but with just two games left they can give these their all.
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It would be a bit of a surprise if the West Indies don’t go in with the same XI that won the opening match after finally snapping a nine-match losing streak. They don’t look to have too many options if they want to change it anyway.
New Zealand might look towards Jimmy Neesham to strengthen their batting without weakening their bowling any. He looked in good touch in the T20 matches and could come in for Lockie Ferguson who was expensive in the opening game.
West Indies only hit 21 boundaries on Wednesday evening but they only batted 39 overs in chasing down 191 so there were certainly more of them in them and I fancy we might see that come out here. I’m not convinced the pitch was as bad in the opening game as New Zealand made it look and while this isn’t necessarily the high scoring ground that it used to be, I certainly think there is enough in the pitch for the West Indian batters to get the ball to the rope.
Those 21 boundaries came with only one batter really getting going and he wasn’t one of those who you would associate with hitting a lot of boundaries so there is definitely scope for them to hit more boundaries here, especially if West Indies bat first. Even if they don’t I don’t expect New Zealand to be as average with the bat this time around as they were in that opening game so the even money that West Indies hit more than 26.5 boundaries looks a fair bet to me.
Back West Indies – Over 26.5 boundaries for a 3/10 stake at 2.00 with William Hill
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