By Rex Clementine

West Indies are through to the Super Eight of the ICC T-20 World Cup following their 13-run win over New Zealand in Trinidad on Wednesday. The two times World Champions have won all their three games so far and suddenly have become leading contenders to the 20-nation title.

As for New Zealand, things went from bad to worse on Wednesday. Following their 84-run loss to Afghanistan, this was a must win game for them. Even if they win their remaining two games, they face elimination as Afghanistan need to win only one more of their remaining two matches. Even a wash out will take the Afghans through knocking New Zealand out.

West Indies were in a hopeless position at 76 for seven in the 13th over, but Guyanese middle order batter Sherfane Rutherford turned the game on its head with his brutal power hitting.

The left-hander hit three sixes in the penultimate over bowled by Daryl Mitchell to reach his half-century in 33 balls.

Mithcell Santner was entrusted the final over and Rutherford hit 18 off that over to push West Indies’ total to 149. Given the length of West Indies batting, they will be hard to beat in this competition.

The 37 runs scored in the last two overs provided some cushion for West Indies bowlers who did a stellar job to defend the score.

Alzarri Joseph delivered at the big stage claiming four wickets bowling with raw pace while Guyanese left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie delivered the knockout punch claiming the big wicket of Kane Williamson. He finished with three wickets.

New Zealand never looked in the hunt and they are tipped to make an early exit in the competition unless Afghanistan play really badly and lose both their remaining games.

Bowlers dominated the proceedings in the US leg of the competition but gradually as the games are shifting to the West Indies, the batters are making their impact and a cracking few days await ahead of us in this tournament.

The specialty of T-20 cricket is unseasoned teams can knock off the big boys. Afghanistan, United States and Netherlands have all had impressive campaigns while Sri Lanka have been eliminated. Apart from New Zealand, Pakistan and England could be knocked out before the second round.