All-rounder Shepherd sees bright side in T20 loss
Odean Smith of West Indies reacts after the loss to New Zealand on Wednesday.

West Indies bowling all-rounder Romario Shepherd remains positive despite the top order once again underperforming in a Twenty20 (T20) International loss.

The hosts, still struggling to find a steady 11, went down by 13 runs to New Zealand at Sabina Park in the opening contest of the three-match T20 series.

"We are a young team and are working towards something and, obviously, we are seeing more improvement so we just have to trust the process," Shepherd said during a post-match interview.

"Even though we are losing we are doing some really good things in-between the losses. We are yet to play the complete game but we are working on it," he added, referring to the recent lean spell in white-ball cricket.

Batting first after West Indies won the toss and sent them in, New Zealand made 185-5 on Wednesday. West Indies were struggling at 114-7 before a late flurry from Shepherd, with 31, and Odean Smith, who contributed 27, lifted them to 172-7.

The pair plundered an unbeaten 58 runs in fours overs and two balls, a record eighth-wicket partnership for West Indies, but it was too little too late.

Smith said the West Indies top order struggled to come to grips with spinners Mitchell Santner (3-19) and Ish Sodhi (1-34).

"The guys went out today and they didn't apply themselves, but it's a team, so if we don't do it at the top, we, the guys in the middle or at the bottom, have to do what we have to do.

"The guys could have applied themselves [better] against the spinners because they got wickets and didn't go for [many] runs," the Jamaican told journalists.

"I wouldn't say it's frustrating, but I think we have to perform as a team. Because if the guys went out today and gave us a good start, I think it would have been easier for us at the back end rather than to come in and try to get like 20 runs an over, which is difficult for us," Smith continued.

— Sanjay Myers

Hayden Walsh of West Indies takes the catch to dismiss Kane Williamson of New Zealand during the first T20 International at Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica, on Wednesday. (Photos: AFP)
Romario Shepherd of West Indies hits a six during the first Twenty20 match versus New Zealand at Sabina Park.
Daryl Mitchell of New Zealand fields the ball during the first T20 match at Sabina Park on Wednesday.
Sanjay Myers

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