In their final Cricket World Cup dress rehearsal, the Black Caps repeatedly fluffed their bowling lines to receive a swift reality check from the destructive West Indies in Bristol.

Gary Stead kept prospects in perspective after his side's crushing six-wicket warm up victory over India on the seaming Oval pitch last weekend, and will be keen to do likewise after watching the West Indies plunder 18 sixes in their staggering 421 total.

Results at this stage are meaningless, and the Black Caps are not scheduled to play here again in the tournament proper.

Yet four days out from their World Cup opener against Sri Lanka in Cardiff, any lingering doubt this 91-run loss may evoke must now be quickly shaken off.


Three days after skittling India, the Black Caps surprised by again opting to bowl first – this time on a flat track.

They were soon in a very different contest.

There was carnage aplenty as the West Indies underlined their dark horse billing by making the most of short straight boundaries and wayward lines.

Had this fixture carried ODI status, the Windies would have shattered their highest total of 389.

Regardless, for Black Caps, bowling figures reveal a largely ugly tale.

Handed the chance to audition at Tim Southee's expense, Matt Henry's 2-107 from nine overs emphasised New Zealand's struggles. Henry lasted three overs with the new ball before being pulled after Chris Gayle began the bludgeoning.

Trent Boult was the exception, once again leading the way with 4-50 from 9.2 overs. Shape in the air, control and variation all featured prominently – his knuckle ball proving especially effective. Backing up his 4-33 against India, Boult's standout performance was all the more impressive when compared to team-mates.

The only other positive came in the form of Tom Blundell's century, the second-choice keeper proving he is ready, if needed, to step in for Tom Latham.

Tom Blundell celebrates reaching his century during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 warm up against West Indies. Photo /Getty
Tom Blundell celebrates reaching his century during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 warm up against West Indies. Photo /Getty

New Zealand's bowlers, however, had little to celebrate.

Mitchell Santner (1-71) started with a maiden but figures were ruined after conceding 22 in one over as Andre Russell and Jason Holder teed off – the lethal strikers adding 73 runs from overs 39 to 44 to set up the daunting total.

Elsewhere, the New Zealand attack had no answers. Jimmy Neesham (1-42), Lockie Ferguson (0-86), Ish Sodhi (0-46) and Colin de Grandhomme (0-18) all clocked more than eight an over. The 26 extras - 18 wides - did not help the cause either.

Gayle set the tone with three sixes at the top before becoming Boult's first victim.

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Shai Hope's classy 101 from 86 balls paced the innings brilliantly, and he was well supported by Evin Lewis' half century.

Both, though, were made to look rather pedestrian once Russell and Holder found their groove to amass 82 runs in 39 balls for the seventh wicket.

Russell's half century came off 23 balls, featuring seven boundaries and three sixes. Holder's 47 from 32 balls was equally damaging, allowing the Windies to move from 300 to 400 in seven overs.

It's a wonder several apartment windows at the far end of the ground were not shattered with this pair in full flight.

Kane Williamson rotated his bowling options and field placements regularly but nothing could stem the tide. In many ways, this performance highlighted fears for this New Zealand side. That being when the ball does not jag about, their attack appears limited against power hitting.

The worry is conditions such as this are expected to be much more prevalent than those the Black Caps savoured at the Oval.

Despite Blundell's efforts New Zealand never threatened in reply, all out for 330 in 47.2 overs.

Colin Munro sat out after his three-ball knock against India resulted in a bruised foot.

Under immediate pressure to push the tempo, openers Martin Guptill and Henry Nicholls departed cheaply in similar fashion, both caught hooking as the ball got too big.

When Ross Taylor edged to gully New Zealand slumped to 33-3, and so it was left to Williamson and Blundell to forge an unlikely comeback.

The rock that is Williamson followed his 67 against India with another fluent half century, raising the bat after 42 balls, and combining for 120 with Blundell. Their partnership ended with Williamson run out for 85 after a mid-pitch stutter, when turning for a third.

Blundell continued his impressive form with valuable time in the middle. His 106 run knock came off 86 balls and included eight fours and five sixes, showcasing his backfoot qualities, quick wrists and confidence against short pitched attack.

It is the Black Caps' bowling, though, that could cause Stead sleepless nights.