At Kensington Oval in Barbados on Wednesday, Shamarh Brooks excelled in the sheet anchor position as he led the West Indies to a five-wicket victory over top-ranked New Zealand in the first of a three-match series.
Brooks’ 91-ball 79 with nine fours and one six gave his team the much-needed stability to get to 193 for five off 39 overs in reply after the home team’s bowling combination of pace and spin destroyed the visitors for 190 in 45.2 overs batting first.
His 72-run fourth-wicket stand with captain Nicholas Pooran (28) stabilised the chase and made sure that there wouldn’t be another instance of the collapses that have all too frequently characterised their performance in recent years.
After being named “Man of the Match,” Brooks noted, “It was crucial just to have a start since this was not the easiest pitch to bat on.” Being in a good collaboration with the captain and observing how he truly buckled down—which is not his nature—was extremely satisfying.
The outcome not only marked New Zealand’s first ODI defeat of the year but also put a stop to the Caribbean team’s appalling streak of nine straight defeats in the 50 overs-per-side format. More importantly, it gave them 10 significant points that were crucial in their quest to go to the World Cup in India in 2014.