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West Indies v New Zealand
Antigua, 29 March 2007

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WORLD CUP SUPER 8, ANTIGUA:
New Zealand 179-3 bt West Indies 177 by seven wickets

By Sam Lyon

Scott Styris
Scott Styris hit his third half-century of the World Cup to ease New Zealand to victory over West Indies in an uninspired Super 8 match in Antigua.

Shane Bond, Daniel Vettori and Jacob Oram all took three wickets to dismiss the hosts for 177, only Chris Gayle (44) and Brian Lara (37) contributing.

Daren Powell struck twice early on to give the hosts hope of an unlikely win.

But Styris (80no) and Craig McMillan (33no) built on Stephen Fleming's 45 to ease the Kiwis home by seven wickets.

In truth, the weather was all that kept the Windies in with a chance after an explosive opening to the Kiwi innings from Powell (2-39).

606: DEBATE

The paceman produced a jaffa that pitched on middle and clipped off-stump to remove Peter Fulton for a duck in the first over, and with Hamish Marshall looking woefully out of sorts the Windies looked in with a chance.

Marshall, called into the side following Lou Vincent's wrist fracture, was given a reprieve in the second over when Dwayne Smith looked to have trapped him lbw and he also survived a run out before Powell had him caught by Lara at mid-off.

However, as Fleming and Styris settled in with an asking rate of under four an over, Lara's decision to go into the match with only two frontline bowlers looked increasingly foolhardy.

With pacemen Jerome Taylor and Ian Bradshaw omitted in favour of batsman Lendl Simmons, Fleming and Styris eased the ball around for ones and twos, with the occasional boundary.

Lara struck a defiant 37 before his fall sparked a collapse
Lara struck a defiant 37 before his fall sparked a collapse

Lara eventually ran out his opposite number with a fine pick up and throw from mid-on, but it led to a turgid spell.

Styris and McMillan were clearly keen to keep wickets intact with half an eye on the inclement weather and the Duckworth-Lewis required score and it led to a dour passage of play.

Only one stoppage was necessary, though, and the Kiwi pair soon opened their shoulders to take the Kiwis home with 64 balls to spare - Styris' knock coming off 90 balls.

But the real damage to the West Indies had been done in their innings, thanks to a fantastic all-round contribution from the Kiwi attack.

Having won the toss, Black Caps captain Fleming had no hesitation in putting West Indies into bat, and his decision looked a wise one as Shane Bond and Michael Mason produced prodigious swing.

Following overnight rain, the damp pitch gave the seamers all the assistance they needed and both had beaten the bat regularly before Chanderpaul finally edged one to Scott Styris at second slip.

Samuels walks after being dismissed by Oram, background
Samuels walks after being dismissed by Oram, background

Chris Gayle's response to the bowler-friendly conditions was to go on the attack, and he showed glimpses of his best form after a poor World Cup with eight delightful boundaries.

However, just as he and Ramnaresh Sarwan looked to be building a decent total, Oram (3-23) took three quick wickets.

His first owed much to the brilliance of wicket-keeper Brendon McCullum, though, who had to dive to his left-hand side to pouch a brilliant one-handed catch off Sarwan's inside edge for 19.

A bouncer did for Marlon Samuels, who gloved behind to fall for just nine, and when Gayle played Oram onto his own stumps when on 44, the Black Caps were well and truly on top.

Brian Lara and Dwayne Bravo hustled and bustled singles in a bid to rebuild the hosts' innings and, with the partnership approaching a half century and the pitch calming down, the Antigua crowd began to find their voice.

Bond celebrates the first of his three wickets in Antigua
Bond celebrates the first of his three wickets in Antigua

But it did not last long, Bond coming back and producing a reverse-swinger that brought an edge from Bravo to end the duo's 47-run stand.

Home wickets were soon falling one after the other and Styris stepped up to take the key wicket of Lara, the home captain bottom-edging behind for 37.

Vettori (3-39) was the Kiwis main contributor late in the innings, the spinner taking two in two to remove Powell and Smith, having had Denesh Ramdin (15) caught by Oram.

Fittingly, Bond returned to take the final wicket, another superb yorker, to round off a super display from Fleming's side, in which McCullum took four catches.

SEE ALSO
How the Super 8s work
27 Mar 07 |  Cricket


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