Cape Town - A rip-roaring batting display from the West Indies saw them race to 421 all out in their Cricket World Cup warm-up match against New Zealand at the Bristol County Ground on Tuesday.
That massive total was more than enough to see them to victory, with New Zealand finishing 92 runs short of the target. The biggest contribution came from Shai Hope who cruised to an 84-ball hundred before losing his wicket just two balls after reaching the landmark according to the Cricket World Cup website.
The innings started off with a bang thanks to an opening stand between Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis that was worth 59 runs from just 44 balls, with Gayle doing the majority of the scoring before he fell for a 22-ball 36. Lewis was more sedate, making 50 from 54 balls before he was dismissed by Jimmy Neesham.
Lewis didn’t have to force the pace, thanks to Hope who looked to attack as soon as we walked to the crease. Even with a long boundary to the west of the ground the West Indies batsmen found no difficulty in clearing the ropes, with 18 sixes in their innings.
The most powerful hitting came from Andre Russell, who scored 54 off 25. One six, smashed towards the Ashley Down Road end of the ground, almost cleared the flats, hitting the building four floors up.
In an innings that was all about big-hitting it would have been pleasing for the New Zealanders to see Trent Boult take 4/50, going at less than a run a ball. He was the one Black Caps bowler who could keep the rate down.
It was always going to be difficult for New Zealand to chase that massive total, but early wickets made the task more difficult. Needing more than eight an over from the start of their innings they stumbled to 33/3 in the 10th over with Martin Guptill, Henry Nichols and Ross Taylor all falling cheaply.
A brilliant stand of 120 between Kane Williamson and Tom Blundell would have kept a team in the contest on another day, but here, with the rate steadily rising, even 85 from 64 balls from Williamson and 106 from 89 from Blundell were not enough for New Zealand.
However, runs for Blundell, the stand-in 'keeper, will be a boost for the Black Caps with injury concerns around Tom Latham.
They will kick off their World Cup campaign against Sri Lanka on Saturday, June 1, while the Windies will take on Pakistan the previous day.