Fletcher steadies Windies innings

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iol spt july5 Cricket ball Getty Images Skipper Brendan Taylor made a crucial 42 as Zimbabwe eased to a six-wicket win over Afghanistan in the first one-day international. Photo by Michael Dodge

Roseau, Dominica – Andre Fletcher's blistering half-century paced the West Indies to a competitive 132 for eight off 18 overs batting first against New Zealand in the first T20 International at Windsor Park in Dominica on Saturday.

Fletcher's knock of 52 off 39 balls included four sixes and one four and was his second fifty in this form of the international game.

He featured in an 88-run third-wicket partnership with Darren Bravo (30) after the home side had slipped to ten for two in overcast conditions having been put in by New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum.

Opening bowlers Trent Boult and Tim Southee removed openers Lendl Simmons and Dwayne Smith before the rains came, delaying play by 90 minutes and resulting in the match being reduced to 18 overs-per side.

Southee returned at the end of the innings to account for the hard-hitting Kieron Pollard and finish with the excellent figures of two for 20.

Boult and Corey Anderson also claimed two wickets while debutant Ish Sodhi accounted for Fletcher. However the leg-spinner came in for a fearful hammering, conceding 35 runs off his three overs.

West Indies omitted all-rounder Christopher Barnwell and fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell from their final 11, while New Zealand opted to include specialist Test wicketkeeper B.J. Watling even though Luke Ronchi was assigned to do duty behind the stumps. – Sapa-AFP

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