Cricket: Black Caps were set for T20 hitout

By David Leggat

Light rain delayed the start of the second ODI in Napier. Photo /Getty
Light rain delayed the start of the second ODI in Napier. Photo /Getty

New Zealand were switching to a T20 approach in their second ODI against the West Indies before the game was abandoned at McLean Park today.

The washout, due to a soggy outfield after light but steady, persistent rain, means the tourists' take a 1-0 lead into game three at Queenstown on Wednesday.

As it became apparent there would be, at least, a late start and a reduced contest, New Zealand thought in T20 terms.

That doesn't necessarily mean a change in personnel - more in terms of their mental approach.

It could have been interesting. New Zealand have plenty of batting firepower in the shortest form; the West Indies are world T20 champions.

Instead it all came to nothing, leaving New Zealand needing to win the last three games of the series to win the rubber. Then the teams meet in two T20 internationals to round off the tour.

It was not a great day for New Zealand Cricket. There was nothing they could do about the rain, or the inability of McLean Park to soak up the water.

However the crowd vented their anger at the announcement as there had been no attempt by ground staff to even try to improve the wettest areas.

New Zealand coach Mike Hesson admitted he had arrived at the ground four hours before the scheduled start and expected there would be a game of some sort today.

''But as it rained throughout the day the water sat on the surface because it had nowhere to go," he said. ''It was frustrating for everybody."

Hesson confirmed speedster Adam Milne would have played today on to provide more spark to the seam attack.

Tim Southee, back from minor toe surgery, bowled in the morning today and Hesson expects he will be ready to play in Nelson in game four next Saturday, and at a pinch in Queenstown.

New Zealand's batsmen would have been keen to get out to the middle at the first opportunity after their disappointing effort at Eden Park in game one last Thursday, when they were reduced to 112 for nine, before reaching 156.

McLean Park would have provided it, on a pitch which is historically a batsman's friend.

The West Indies are in the box seat, even reduced to 14 players for the remainder of the series, due to the departure for personal reasons of leading batsman Darren Bravo.

- NZ Herald

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