Venue – Kensington Oval, Barbados
Date: Wednesday, August 17
The ICC Cricket World Cup Super League is a confusing bear of a competition. The league is played in the ODI format and the 2020-23 edition of the event serves as part of the qualifying process for the 2023 Cricket World Cup. The 12 teams involved each play eight of the other countries in a three-match ODI series at some point during that four-year window.
This series that sees the West Indies host New Zealand is one of three such series around the world this week. It should be the most competitive of the three (Netherlands VS Pakistan and Zimbabwe VS India) and it is the second leg of a white ball tour that saw the two nations compete in three T20I matches last week.
The first two of those matches went in the favor of the tourists. The first was a close run thing – New Zealand won by 13 runs – but in the second the class of the Black Caps shone through. They won the toss and elected to batt, finishing 215/5 from their 20 overs against the Windies blistering pace attack. Glenn Phillips hit 76 from 41 balls and it is worth noting that he also top scored in the third match in the series for the visitors.
After their 90-run win, much was expected of New Zealand again in the third match. Instead, the Windies responded. Set a very chasable target of 145, the hosts lost just two wickets as they ran down the total with an over to spare. It will be interesting to see how this form translates into the other version of the white ball game given that many of the same players will again be pulling on the uniform of their national side.
The West Indies have freshened up their ODI squad a touch in order to broaden their playing options with the 2023 World Cup just around the corner. Kevin Sinclair is a name that has not yet featured in ODI cricket for the Windies, but the Guyanese all-rounder has performed well in the six T20Is that he has been a part of. He looks set to make his debut in the format here.
Of less certainty is the status of spinner Gudakesh Motie. Motie would be an ideal option giant the Black Caps, but the left-armer is still struggling with a finger injury to the point that his participation is not guaranteed.
New Zealand will hope to poor the pressure on a West Indies team that has not performed well in ODI cricket as of late. The Kiwi side will look to their regular standouts – players like Devon Conway and Kane Williamson – to again lead them to victory on foreign soil here.
New Zealand has won seven ODIs in a row this year, albeit those matches have come against the likes of Ireland, Scotland, and the Netherlands.
As good as New Zealand has been, the West Indies have been equally bad. They were swept by both India and Bangladesh and the team looks to be searching for answers with that World Cup in 2023 the time that they are hoping to peak. They do have some standouts. Shai Hope (10/1 to be MotM) can still be dominant with the bat, but anything other than a New Zealand win at 5/10 would be a shock. Take the visitors to win and with the form he is in take a look at Phillips to be MotM at 12/1.