West Indies Vs New Zealand: Co-Hosts Seal Super 8 Spot In T20 World Cup With Gritty 13-Run Win

Sherfane Rutherford and Alzarri Joseph were the leading lights in West Indies' seventh T20I win on the trot. Meanwhile, New Zealand's hopes of qualifying for the Super 8 stage of the T20 World Cup now hang by a thread

West Indies vs New Zealand, T20 World Cup 2024 match 26, AP photo
West Indies' Nicholas Pooran, second left, celebrates after taking a catch to dismiss New Zealand's captain Kane Williamson during their T20 World Cup 2024 match in Trinidad on Wednesday (June 13). Photo: AP/Ramon Espinosa

It was touted as a high-stakes clash of the titans, and the match lived up to its billing. New Zealand began on a rousing note, but West Indies punctured their hopes when it mattered with a world-class bowling display. The co-hosts stormed into the Super 8 stage of ICC T20 World Cup 2024 with a hard-earned 13-run victory at the Brian Lara Stadium in Trinidad on Thursday, June 13. (As It Happened | Scorecard | Full Coverage)

The Windies first rode Sherfane Rutherford's heroic undefeated half-century to notch up a 159-run total. Rovman Powell's team then produced an inspired performance in the field, stifling the Kiwi batters and snuffing out key wickets at timely moments to restrict them to 136 for nine in 20 overs.

It was West Indies' seventh T20I win on the trot and their third victory on the bounce in the group stage of the T20 World Cup. Meanwhile, New Zealand's hopes of qualifying for the Super 8 stage of the T20 World Cup now hang by a thread.

It was a collective effort with the ball for the West Indies, as all the bowlers delivered under pressure. Alzarri Joseph (4-19 in four overs) and Gudakesh Motie (3-25 in four overs) were the stars, together snaring seven wickets to break the back of the BlackCaps batting.

Glenn Phillips (40 off 33 balls) was the only Kiwi batter to cross the 30-run mark, and once he departed, so did his team's chances of a win.

Earlier, the experienced Trent Boult spearheaded the Kiwi bowling attack, which inflicted severe damage in the first 13 overs of the co-hosts' batting essay. Boult struck in the very first over and finished with figures of 3-16, complemented well by Tim Southee (2-21) and Lockie Ferguson (2-27) as WI were reduced to 76 for 7 in the 13th over.

But Sherfane Rutherford played a sensational knock to resuscitate the Windies innings. The southpaw stayed unbeaten on 68 off just 39 balls (2x4, 6x6) to lift his team from a precarious position to a competent total of 149 runs.

Rutherford ensured the West Indies made 58 runs in their last five innings, and stitched together a 37-run last-wicket stand with Gudakesh Motie off just 13 balls, with every single run coming off Rutherford's bat.

West Indies Vs New Zealand Playing XIs

West Indies: Brandon King, Johnson Charles, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Roston Chase, Rovman Powell (c), Sherfane Rutherford, Andre Russell, Romario Shepherd, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Gudakesh Motie.

New Zealand: Finn Allen, Devon Conway (wk), Kane Williamson, Daryl Mitchell, Glenn Phillips, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Rachin Ravindra, Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult.

West Indies will next face Afghanistan in Gros Islet (West Indies) on June 17, while New Zealand will meet Uganda in Tarouba on June 14.