KINGSTON - Odean Smith’s all-round show went in vain as West Indies’ batting once again did not manage to come to the party. Chasing 186, West Indies fell 13 runs short in the opening T20I in Jamaica as New Zealand’s juggernaut rolled on.

New Zealand had their returning skipper Kane Williamson put up a solid 47 off 33, and with Devon Conway’s 29-ball 43, the pair gave New Zealand a solid foundation to pile on the runs. There was a rain interruption in the 12th over for almost two hours, and although New Zealand lost momentum, briefly then, they recovered pretty quickly.

Glenn Phillips and Daryl Mitchell got starts but couldn’t convert them. It was, however, Jimmy Neesham’s 15-ball 33 in the end that propelled New Zealand towards the finish they wanted. Odean Smith finished with a career-best 3-32, striking at vital junctures to dismiss New Zealand’s top three; else the West Indies could’ve been chasing a lot more.

Tim Southee struck in the second over to dismiss Kyle Mayers, but West Indies would take heart from Shamarh Brooks’s fighting 42 off 43 while wickets fell at the other end as all of New Zealand’s bowlers cashed in. West Indies were reduced to 114/7 with the inevitable end drawing closer, but resistance came, albeit late, of 50 off 23 balls from the eighth-wicket stand Smith and Romario Shepherd.

Smith smashed four boundaries and a six in his unbeaten 27 off 12, while Shepherd struck three sixes and a four in his 31 not out off 16 balls. New Zealand’s spinners shone through once again on a wicket that assisted them, returning four wickets. Santner was the pick with 3-19 in his four leading New Zealand’s defence, making the most of the knowledge gained from his CPL experience. “There was a lot of spin which was a big surprise,” said Santner, who was voted the Player of the Match. “I think the lengths are key against these guys. They can hit you pretty far, so back of a length worked today and as a unit we were able to pick up wickets which was pretty key.” “We want to get better as a group but in saying that I was happy with the performances,” West Indies captain Nicholas Pooran said. “Santner bowled very well and Ish [Sodhi] got away with a few. Scores above 175-180 are tricky for us. Unfortunately losing is contagious and we’re a losing side at the moment.”

Scores in briefNEW ZEALAND 185/5 in 20 overs (Kane Williamson 47, Devon Conway 43; Odean Smith 3-32) beat WEST INDIES 172/7 in 20 overs (Shamarh Brooks 42; Mitchell Santner 3-19) by 13 runs.