The ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 warm-ups are not counted as official ODIs. The numbers accumulated in both the batting and bowling during these games are not included in the statistics of the players. It must have been a welcome relief for New Zealand and Matt Henry. West Indies notched up what could have been the eighth-highest ODI score and Matt Henry conceded what could have been the second-most expensive bowling figures but luckily for both, they did not count. West Indies blasted 421 thanks to Shai Hope’s century and a blazing 54 off 25 balls from Andre Russell and despite Tom Blundell’s ton, New Zealand fell short by 91 runs in the final ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 warm-up game.
It was a run-fest at County Ground, Bristol and New Zealand inserted West Indies in on a flat deck. Chris Gayle blazed away by hammering two sixes and two fours off Matt Henry and the bowler took further punishment from the ‘Universe Boss’ when he blasted a six and a four in his next over. Trent Boult got the big wicket of Gayle for 36 but West Indies continued to build momentum.
Hope continued where Gayle left off and he took on New Zealand’s best bowler by hammering two sixes and a four as West Indies reached the 100 in just the 13th over. Lewis notched up his fifty but departed immediately while Hope also notched up his fifty and continued his great form by hammering Ish Sodhi for a couple of boundaries.
Darren Bravo continued the carnage by smashing a four and a six but he fell for 25. Hetmyer also looked aggressive but he fell for 27 but Hope neared his ton by blasting two fours and a six and the right-hander, who had smashed two centuries in the recent tri-series involving Ireland and Bangladesh, notched up yet another century but fell immediately after reaching the milestone.
Andre Russell, whose aggression and power-hitting had taken IPL 2019 by storm, got going with a six off Mitchell Santner. Russell followed it up with two boundaries off Lockie Ferguson but he reserved his best for Mitchell Santner by clobbering the left-arm spinner for two sixes and two fours as 22 runs came in the 43rd over. Russell reached his fifty off 23 balls but fell for 54. Carlos Brathwaite and Ashley Nurse struck some big blows as West Indies hit 115 runs in the final 10 overs to reach 421.
In response, Martin Guptill struggled and consumed 18 balls for his five runs. With New Zealand losing Henry Nicholls and Ross Taylor cheaply, New Zealand’s challenge was up in the first 10 overs itself. Kane Williamson played some classy strokes and notched up his fifty off just 42 balls. Williamson found the boundary on a regular basis and stitched a solid stand with Tom Blundell but the New Zealand skipper missed out on his century when he was run-out for 85.
Blundell got some good practice and he blasted two fours and two sixes off Oshane Thomas and notched up his century off 83 balls. New Zealand kept losing wickets at regular intervals and it took a whirlwind 15-ball 39 from Ish Sodhi to ensure New Zealand crossed 300 but they were bowled out for 330.
West Indies begin their World Cup campaign against Pakistan on May 31 in Taunton while New Zealand takes on Sri Lanka in Cardiff on June 1.