Cricket: Black Caps swamped by West Indies

By Kris Shannon

Kane Williamson worried about drowning during today's defeat to the West Indies, but that fate may be preferable to what awaits the Black Caps in the next 10 days. Photo / AP
Kane Williamson worried about drowning during today's defeat to the West Indies, but that fate may be preferable to what awaits the Black Caps in the next 10 days. Photo / AP

Kane Williamson worried about drowning during today's defeat to the West Indies, but that fate may be preferable to what awaits the Black Caps in the next 10 days.

The series looks one-sided and could get worse, with the hosts romping to a nine-wicket win in the first one-dayer and the Black Caps showing few signs of resistance.

The reversal follows two heavy defeats in the Twenty20 series in Florida and, with the Black Caps looking over-matched in almost every aspect of the game, this already messy tour could get a whole lot uglier in the remaining four one-dayers.

During the three defeats, the West Indies have accumulated 522 runs for the loss of just eight wickets, while the Black Caps were bowled out twice in the T20s before managing to barely bat out their full complement in the ODI.

The closest New Zealand came to salvaging a result came during today's 90-minute rain delay in Jamaica, which left Williamson pondering both his own mortality and the lifeless state of his team.

"That we could all drown, potentially," Williamson joked when asked what was running through his mind during the break. "That brought the game closer than it was, but it probably wasn't enough rain in those circumstances. We don't want rain to come into it - we have to put together some consistent performances."

There may be more chance of a monsoon. The Black Caps had hoped a change of format and scenery would bring a change in fortune, but it was more of the same as an inadequate batting display was accompanied by a toothless bowling attack once again put to the sword by Chris Gayle and co.

Worryingly for Williamson, the rust of a three-month period of inactivity - during which the West Indies hosted Australia and travelled to England - had yet to abate, while the absence of key men Ross Taylor (injury) and Brendon McCullum (rested) will continue.

"There's a lot of challenges for us in this series - not only the quality of the opposition in their conditions, but also the personnel in our own camp and the injuries that we've had," Williamson said.

"It has been one-sided but we do believe that we have the personnel. We're young, but if we can put together those performances from those players who have the potential to play very good cricket we can beat anyone."

Williamson repeatedly insisted he was leading a young team - a fact belied by their average of 27.5 which was identical to the West Indies' starting XI. But the hosts do boast almost twice as many caps (85) per player than New Zealand (44), which may go a way to explaining the Black Caps' perceived inferiority.

"We know we are underdogs and that sort of breeds a fearless attitude in our camp," Williamson said. "We can learn a lot from the opposition and we always have to look forward, because that's the only thing we can do in a five-game series.

"We learned some lessons today - I'd like to think we did, anyway - and hopefully we can put those into practise."

They may have to do so without Andrew Ellis, who joined Taylor on the sidelines after suffering a grade one hamstring strain while running between the wickets. New Zealand were yet to contemplate sending the allrounder home but more will be known by the second one-dayer on Sunday.

The same can be said of the Black Caps, who will be loathe to further boost the confidence of the already cocky Caribbean side if they want to emerge from the tour with a win to their name.

- APNZ

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