Blackcaps v West Indies: Lockie Ferguson demands more consistency from bowlers

Blackcaps paceman Lockie Ferguson believes New Zealand still have room to improve, after drawing first blood in their T20 series against West Indies, with a five-wicket win in Auckland.

In a rain-affected contest, Ferguson was named Man of the Match, after finishing 5/21 with the ball - just the second Kiwi, behind Tim Southee, to grab a five-wicket bag in international T20 cricket.

Ferguson's brilliance with the ball came halted West Indies' red-hot start with the bat, as they reached 55/0 after just three overs. 

Three overs later, the visitors were 59/5, but captain Kieron Pollard rescued his side, scoring 75 runs off 37 balls and steering his team to 180/7.

New Zealand's target was adjusted to 176 runs under the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method and the Kiwis chased down the total with four balls to spare.

Despite the win, Ferguson knows the Blackcaps must be more consistent with the ball, if they are to wrap up the series in the second T20 at Mt Maunganui on Sunday afternoon. 

While Ferguson tore through the West Indies batsmen, Hamish Bennett (0/50) and Jimmy Neesham (0/32) both struggled, smacked for a combined eight sixes in four overs. 

"When you face these guys - especially Kieron, who has been very successful over the last few months, winning every competition there is - you're under the pump, [as] Eden Park gets even smaller," says Ferguson. 

"I thought we bowled a couple of yorkers that only missed by a little bit and they went a long way into the boundary. 

Lockie Ferguson.
Lockie Ferguson. Photo credit: Photosport

"We have to look at our plans and execute them better going forward - that's pretty clichéd in T20 cricket. 

"You have good days and you have bad [days]. If we continue to improve, we'll be better for it. 

"But you've got to tip your hat when a guy plays an innings like that, especially after we got quick wickets, but he settled himself and had a quick burst in the end."

While Neesham struggled with the ball, he led the way with the bat, scoring an unbeaten 48 runs off 24 balls, and forming a key 77-run partnership with debutant Devon Conway. 

"When you're batting in the middle order, you're presented with different scenarios and it's all about adaptability,' says Neesham.

"We were in a sticky spot when I walked out, but I knew from batting with Devon for Wellington, we do bat well together and when we stay together, the runs do usually come. 

"We were rusty overall, but when you walk away with a win in the first game of the summer, you are pretty happy." 

Most were playing in front of fans for the first time since March. 

Pollard describes being in front of fans as "strange" and Ferguson says it was one of the "craziest" games he'd been a part of.

Join us from 2pm Sunday for live updates of the second Blackcaps v West Indies T20