Desperate Windies seek to snap losing skid in second N'Zealand T20
West Indies batsman Shimron Hetmyer trains at Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica, on Tuesday. (Photo: AFP)

West Indies enter today's second Twenty20 (T20) against New Zealand at Sabina Park desperate for a win, not only to draw level in the series, but to snap a four-match losing streak.

The two-time former global T20 champions are enduring a lean spell in the format dating back to the World Cup in the Middle East last year.

Their slump has included a 0-3 loss away to India in February this year and a recent 1-4 loss to the same opposition on a tour of the Caribbean and Florida. In between those assignments West Indies beat Bangladesh 2-0 in a three-match T20 series in July.

In Wednesday's opener in Kingston, the Nicholas Pooran-captained West Indies were well outplayed even if a late blitz from Romario Shepherd and Odean Smith narrowed the visitors' victory margin to a mere 13 runs.

Pooran, who was generally pleased with the bowling effort, said the team is on the right path after their 172-7 in reply to New Zealand's 185-5.

"We got really close to the total so I think we are starting to find our template," the 26-year-old said during a post-match television interview.

"We know scores of 175 and 180 are tricky for us, but we see where guys are starting to play smarter in situations, so I think we are coming along nicely," the left-handed Pooran, who made 15, added.

Kane Williamson, the New Zealand skipper, led his team's batting with 47 from 33 balls. He credited his team for the win, noting his bowlers did well in the face of the late onslaught.

"It was nice to get the win. The performance and what went into it was more pleasing. We know how dynamic and gifted West Indies players are. We know that's what they are going to bring and for us it was nice to stick to our plan," Williamson, 32, said on Wednesday.

Worryingly for the regional side, its top order had no answer to crafty left-arm finger spinner Mitchell Santner, who claimed 3-19 and the player of the match award.

Smith, who made a 12-ball 27 not out, in the unbeaten 58-run, eighth-wicket partnership with Shepherd (31 from 16 deliveries), was also good with the ball, taking 3-32.

The bowling all-rounder said the team is still finding its feet.

"We are trying out combinations and seeing what works on certain surfaces. We are trying different things, seeing what works… so as players we just have to go out and perform to the best of our ability," Smith, 25, said.

The final T20 is scheduled for Sunday, as both teams fine-tune for the World Cup in Australia in October and November.

— Sanjay Myers

New Zealand fast bowler Lockie Ferguson practises at Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica, on Tuesday. (Photo: AFP)
West Indies skipper Nicholas Pooran trains at Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica, on Tuesday. (Photo: AFP)
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson takes part in a training session at Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica, on Tuesday. (Photo: AFP)
Sanjay Myers

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