West Indies signal Cricket World Cup intent with brutal show against New Zealand – get set for Ageas Bowl fireworks
The West Indies provided a taste of the entertainment they will bring to the Ageas Bowl in the ICC Cricket World Cup with their comprehensive win against New Zealand in their warm-up game at Bristol.
Some brutal hitting saw them post 421 to set up a 91-run success.
It certainly sent out a message that they will be looking to attack when they get the chance during the prestigious cricket competition.
South Africa and the West Indies go head to head on the south coast on Wednesday, June 10 in what is expected to be a packed venue.
The West Indies will also meet England at the Ageas Bowl on June 14.
Eoin Morgan’s men are likely to have their hands full.
Whether it’s the explosive batting of Chris Gayle and Andre Russell, or the raw pace bowling of Oshane Thomas and Kemar Roach, they are always fun to watch.
Despite coming into this World Cup without an ODI series win in the past five years, there is a school of thought that the West Indies could be the dark horses in England.
They certainly possess the batting power as highlighted by their blockbuster showing against New Zealand in Bristol.
Gayle hit a rapid 36 off 22 balls before he holed out to Kiwi captain Kane Williamson off the bowling of Trent Boult.
Evin Lewis added a more measured half-century – support as a swashbuckling Shai Hope teed off at the other end.
Hope smashed the New Zealand attack to all corners along with valuable contributions from Darren Bravo (25) and Shimron Hetmyer (27).
He brought up his century from just 84 balls, which included nine fours and four sixes, before gifting his wicket just two deliveries later to Boult by chipping the ball to Williamson.
With Holder (47) up and running it was time for Russell to take centre stage.
Fireworks followed as the sixes only got bigger. He opened his account with a gigantic maximum and continued in that vein as he raced to his half-century from just 23 balls.
The highlight of his seven fours and three sixes was a monstrous maximum strike down the ground that easily scaled the fourth floor of the flats behind the Ashley Down Road end.
His show-stopping cameo saw West Indies reach their highest ever one-day score.
While the 421 total will not count – the game did not carry official ODI status – it laid down a marker for the tournament and set New Zealand a target they couldn’t get near