Ferguson, Neesham help New Zealand beat WI

Auckland: Incredible performances from pacer Lockie Ferguson and all-rounder James Neesham helped New Zealand beat West Indies by five wickets, via Duckworth-Lewis-Stern Method, in the first T20I at the Eden Park on Friday.

In a rail-curtailed 16-over match, the Black Caps chased down the 176-run target with four balls to spare to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

Put into bat, West Indies put 180/7 in their innings, thanks to a magnificent 75 not out from skipper Kieron Pollard. Pollard faced 37 deliveries during which he scored four fours and eight sixes.

Apart from him, Andre Fletcher and Fabian Allen ade notable contributions of 34 and 30 each.

However, the highlight of the innings was New Zealand’s Ferguson who picked up his maiden T20I five-wicket haul and finished with figures of 4/21 in his four overs. Skipper Tim Southee also chipped in with two wickets, conceding 22 runs in his three overs.

Chasing a stiff target of 176 after the application of the DLS Method, the hosts found themselves reeling at one stage, losing four wickets with 63 runs on the board. However, Devon Conway and Neesham stitched a 77-run partnership to bring the Black Caps back into the game.

Conway departed after scoring 41 — a 29-ball knock studded with five fours and a six. Mitchell Santner, who came in next, joined Neesham and the duo stitched together an unbeaten 39-run stand to take the team home. While Neesham contributed with unbeaten 48 (24 balls; five 4s and three 6s), Santner remained not out at 31 (18 balls; three 6s).

The two teams will now face each other in the second T20I at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui on Sunday.