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Martin stars for White Ferns in T20 opener

Radio New Zealand logo Radio New Zealand 14/03/2018

Katey Martin of New Zealand looks on during the ICC Women's World Cup 2017 between England and New Zealand in Derby, England. © Nathan Stirk/Getty Images Katey Martin of New Zealand looks on during the ICC Women's World Cup 2017 between England and New Zealand in Derby, England. A half-century and two stumpings by wicket-keeper Katey Martin has helped the New Zealand women's cricket team to an eight-run win over the West Indies in the first T20 in Tauranga.

Martin made 54 from just 35 balls and was supported by Suzie Bates (49) and Amy Satterthwaite (36) as the White Ferns posted 167-6 from their 20 overs.

The Windies looked on track for their first victory on tour after half-centuries by Hayley Matthews and Stafanie Taylor but some brilliant bowling at the death by Leigh Kasperek (3-35) and Sophie Devine (2-27) proved enough for the home side.

The West Indies sent the White Ferns in to bat first and Bates picked up from where she left off after the recent ODI series in the South Island.

The New Zealand captain made the most of the early field restrictions alongside Martin with the pair putting on 76 runs for the second wicket.

Just as Bates looked to kick on, however, she was caught in the deep on 49 which brought Satterthwaite to the crease at 92-2.

Martin and Satterthwaite built a handy partnership with the Canterbury Magicians batswoman taking on the West Indies attack with a quick-fire 36 off just 19 balls.

The White Ferns were 143-3 when Satterthwaite was dismissed in the 16th over as Martin looked to see her team home. The wicket-keeper passed 50 for the first time in a T20I before she was eventually out caught in the deep.

In reply, the world champions got off to a flyer as young opener Matthews found the middle of the bat more often than not.

The West Indies were 42-0 in the sixth over when Devine claimed the first wicket of Merissa Aguilleira (5). Matthews kept attacking in partnership with Taylor as the opener brought up 50 off just 28 deliveries.

It was going to take something special to remove Matthews and that's exactly what happened in the ninth over as Martin matched her strong effort with the bat with an excellent stumping off the bowling of Kasperek.

But the tourists were always a chance with Taylor at the crease and the West Indies captain showed all her class to anchor the innings.

Devine came back into the attack and dismissed Reniece Boyce but at 97-4 the wickets began to dry up as Taylor took it upon herself to get the Windies home.

Taylor and Kyshona Knight got the West Indies into a strong position at 153-4 needing a further 15 runs from 10 deliveries before the pendulum swung once more.

Satterthwaite took an excellent catch in the outfield to remove Knight off Kasperek's bowling before Martin stumped Kycia Knight for a duck.

That left the tourists needing 13 of the last over and Devine held her nerve, bowling three dot balls to start and conceding just four runs off her final three to see her side prevail by eight runs.

Game two is at the same venue on Friday.

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