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Brendon McCullum, Ronchi star in big win

Nathan McCullum takes 4/24 after rollicking innings by batting duo as New Zealand wins first T20I against West Indies by 81 runs

Brendon McCullum, Ronchi star in big win - Cricket News
Brendon McCullum remained unbeaten on 60 to take New Zealand to a score of 189.
Nathan McCullum backed the efforts of Brendon McCullum and Luke Ronchi as New Zealand beat West Indies by 81 runs in the first Twenty20 International at Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday (January 11).

Brendon McCullum (60*) and Ronchi (48*) shared an unbroken 85-run stand that helped New Zealand recover from 104 for 5 in 13 overs, with the side ultimately putting up a challenging 189 for 5. West Indies began its reply shakily, and had lost half the side by the 12th over. After that, the chase fizzled out and West Indies ended up at 108 for 8 after 20 overs.

After opting to bat, New Zealand started positively with Martin Guptill (25) and Jesse Ryder (22) adding 38 for the first wicket inside four overs. Nikita Miller, the left-arm spinner, then struck back with two wickets, including the prized scalp of Ross Taylor. At 66 for 3 in nine overs, New Zealand needed a partnership of substance.

Colin Munro provided impetus to the innings with a sparkling 22, but just as New Zealand looked set to launch, it faced another setback. Munro and Corey Anderson (0) were dismissed in the space of three deliveries. However, after that, Brendon McCullum and Ronchi cut loose as New Zealand smashed 84 runs off the last seven overs.

The batting was then backed up by some tight bowling, led by Nathan McCullum, who celebrated the occasion of his 50th T20I with four wickets. West Indies wasn't able to match New Zealand's pyrotechniques with the bat, and the lack of partnerships stymied the chase.

The initial damage was caused by Adam Milne, the 21-year-old quick, who removed Lendl Simmons with his fourth ball.

After that, Nathan McCullum dismissed Kieran Powell (12), Andre Fletcher (23) and Andre Russell (0) in quick time. As wickets continued to tumble, the required-rate mounted and New Zealand’s total eventually proved more than adequate.

Fletcher was the only West Indies batsman to cross 20, while Jimmy Neesham backed up Nathan McCullum (4 for 24) with three wickets, ending with 3 for 16. 

The second T20I will take place in Wellington on January 15.

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