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Last Updated:  Monday, 10 March, 2003, 13:01 GMT
Unfinished business for Styris
By Thrasy Petropoulos
BBC Sport in Port Elizabeth

Scott Styris
Styris has been in inspired form for New Zealand

There was a time when even his team-mates would have been surprised to see Scott Styris' name heading the strike-rate for batsmen at the World Cup.

Seen at best as a bowling all-rounder, and as direct replacement for Gavin Larsen, Styris was adamant that he was first and foremost a batsman.

And, with a Test century on his debut and a total of 250 World Cup runs at an average of 83 and at a rate of 105 runs per 100 balls, the debate appears settled.

Settled, that is, apart from some unfinished business against Australia.

One of Styris' early ventures up the order happened to coincide with the last time Australia's dominance in one-day cricket was challenged.

But despite New Zealand winning three VB Series games against Australia two winters ago, Styris' combined contribution was 43 runs off 67 balls and he was not called upon to bowl.

Styris' 2003 World Cup record
Runs: 250
Highest score: 141 v Sri Lanka
Batting average: 83.3
Wickets: Four
Bowling average: 34.0

He was overlooked for the third match.

Still, the lessons learned by the 27-year-old and his team-mates could be crucial ahead of New Zealand's Super Six match against Australia in Port Elizabeth.

No other team at this World Cup possess such an insight into how to beat the world champions.

"It's simple, disciplined cricket; nothing more, nothing less," Styris said.

"That's the only way to play against them - stick to what you do well, and stick to it that little bit longer than usual.

"I can't tell you how often I have seen teams stumble against Australia because they get caught up in the idea that they are facing Brett Lee or Glenn McGrath, or bowling to Matthew Hayden, and wonder what they are going to do to them."

The VB Series in 2001/2 was the first time Australia had failed to make it to the finals of their annual one-day tournament.

It's like that in any sport that we play and win against Australia - they're the big brother
Scott Styris

"It was after that first victory in Melbourne that I said to myself: 'We can beat these guys. And we don't need to play their game to do so.' Our way worked.

"And the second game was even more important. Nathan Astle was out and Stephen Fleming was injured on the morning of the game.

"We were two senior batsmen down and we still beat them. That instilled even more belief. The important thing is not to be overawed. Success breeds success."

The formula was the same on each occasion.

New Zealand batted first and scored between 199 and 242 and the Aussies were then bundled out for 176, 212 and 165.

And boy did New Zealand rub it in.

"It's like that in any sport that we play and win against Australia," Styris said.

"They're the big brother, if you like. You make sure you enjoy it when it happens."





Links to more New Zealand stories


 

SEE ALSO
Australia v New Zealand preview
10 Mar 03 |  World Cup
Key battles: Australia v NZ
10 Mar 03 |  World Cup


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