Kane Williamson made a triumphant return to the T20I arena as New Zealand secured a narrow win over West Indies in an entertaining clash in the Caribbean.
World class fielding on display in Kingston
Some of the catching from both sides had to be seen to be believed during the first T20I in Kingston and it was difficult to choose which catch on the day was the best of all.
Shimron Hetmyer got the ball rolling with an athletic effort to snuff out New Zealand veteran Martin Guptill for 16, while Devon Thomas and James Neesham also pulled off superb wickets that would have claimed ‘catch of the day’ honors for most T20I matches.
But it was this effort from Hayden Walsh that caught most of the attention, with the West Indies spinner showing why he is regarded as one of the best fielders in the world, when he sprinted along the boundary and dived fully to dismiss New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson. .
Welcome back skipper
This calendar year has been a frustrating one for Kane Williamson as he has battled ongoing injuries, so it was great to see the New Zealand captain back playing what was his first T20I since last year’s T20 World Cup decider against Australia in Dubai.
Williamson also seemed to be in good touch with the willow as he smashed a quickfire 47 off just 33 deliveries in a knock that featured a quartet of fours and two massive sixes.
The New Zealand skipper was eventually out in the 18th over due to Walsh’s athletic catch, but not before he had helped his team on their way to posting a big score against the dangerous West Indies.
Steady Boult overshadowed by star all-rounder
Experienced quick Trent Boult made headlines on the eve of the match when he announced that he was turning his back on his central contract with New Zealand Crickett, but he still turned out against the West Indies and took the valuable wicket of Jason Holder.
It was Mitchell Santner who stole the show for the visitors, with the star collecting three crucial scalps and conceding just 19 runs from his four overs on his way to claiming Player of the Match honours.
Santner’s spell could be the difference between the two sides in the end, with the West Indies tail wagging as Romario Shepherd (31*) and Odean Smith (27*) gave the hosts some late hope with some powerful hitting that ultimately proved in vain.
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