With New Zealand already leading the three-match Twenty20 International series 1-0 after sealing the first T20I by 47 runs at Nelson on December 29, making his return Kane Williamson is cautious about the ability of Windies’ swashbuckling opening batsman Chris Gayle for his pyrotechnics.
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The 27-year-old Tauranga-born Williamson is returning for the second T20I after enjoying the breaking which further saw him watching his teammates from the bench for the last two ODIs and the solitary T20Is in which senior campaigner Tim Southee led his team.
“If he [Gayle] gets away on you in 10 overs or so he can change a game and that’s what it’s about,” Williamson said on Gayle.
However, the 38-year-old Kingston-born has failed miserably so far on his New Zealand tour which saw him scoring just 38 runs which comprised of two One-day Internationals and a solitary T20I.
“He’s a fantastic player, probably the best T20 record in the game and can take the game away at any time,” Williamson maintained.
In the recently concluded Bangladesh Premier League, Gayle might have plundered runs which included the record of 18 maximums, but this competition is altogether different as the visitors are aiming for the revival which seems highly improbable the way Kiwis are playing at the moment.
Williamson has witnessed some decent cricket from New Zealand, but he did not show any complacency while being cautious about opposition capability to return particularly in the shortest.
“We know in this format the West Indies T20 side is one of the best sides in the world and we know that at any time they can turn it on,” Williamson added.
Even though Windies skipper Carlos Braithwaite and Jerome Taylor managed to bag two wickets each but the Jason Holder-led side couldn’t avoid the Black Caps to post a solid total before the visitors lost wickets at regular intervals to allow the Kiwis are taking the lead early.
As it is the make or break situation for Windies, the management would be eyeing to see senior campaigners delivering in a bid to level the series which is simultaneously an arduous task for the bleak-looking Caribbean’s.
If Windies want to add life in the match, the opening batsmen in the form of wicket-keeper batsman Chadwick Walton and brute force Gayle is supposed to lay the strong base at the top to allow the rest of the batsmen to make things interesting.
However, on the other side, Southee would be confident to come good after bagging three wickets each alongside youngster Seth Rance, who on his debut conceded 30 runs which further saw him claiming the prized scalp of Gayle.
Colin Munro and Glenn Phillips would be the key figure for the hosts as the visitors would desperately want their batsmen to fire on – to level the series before it is going too late.
The second match is scheduled on January 1st, 2018 at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui and the hosts are in enjoying the performances in the backyard, and the eyes would be on the pacemen rather than spinners of both the teams.
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