Friday, March 30, 2007

Kiwis get over host's fear: World Cup Diary (2007)

Stage: Super Eight
Match: 3 (WI vs NZ)
Result: New Zealand won by 7 wickets

When Bond, Vettori n Oram took charge of NZ bowling, Styris was at his usual best while chasing.

They had the odds in their favor when NZ set to meet WI today at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua . Before the match, Lara made a point to have a good start, not losing the wickets and then toppling over the good work of top order. But the black caps had some other plans for them, as Bond n Mason started with a sensations spell between them to drag their openers into a shell. Chanderpaul failed again, a stunner from McCullum got rid of Sarwan, Samuels disappointed again (gosh! next time i m not gonna chose him for my super-selector team). Gayle was looking comfortable for his 44, but even the big man couldn't have made that cut while still cramping for room off a length ball from Oram. Oram, how could i miss him (super-selector), as the 6ft 7inches tall guy added 2 more wickets in his kitty. There was some good work from Lara n Bravo as they take some quick (or i wud say lucky) singles. But no escape from the tight line of Vettori n Bond, as the revival was followed by yet another collapse and Windies shot out for 177. Only disappointment was Franklin whose 3 overs went away for 29 runs thanks to some nice short selection from Gayle.

It never seemed to anyone for their would be any difficulty chasing down 177. But when Powell, Carribean newly found star-stricker got rid of Fulton in just the 2nd ball of the innings, it looked like Kiwis wud have to work hard for their win. Marshall (replacement for Vincent, who is out of WC because of a finger fracture during training session) became his second victim soon after. And he made way for Styris, thats my man :) (super-selector again), on top of that I made him my team's captain, as he joined Fleming and runs started coming in steadily. After Fleming departure (direct hit from Lara), Styris took his team past the asking total and ensure Kiwis their 2 pts in their race to qualify for semis.

It was another lacklusture performance from the West Indies, as they have lost their both games of this stage. They need to sit back and rethink their strategy as there is a very little realistic chance now that they will be able to make it to next round. With this win, Kiwis sit comfortably with 4 pts alongside Aussies. Both of them would also be looking forward to 4 more easy points from Bangladesh n Ireland. We have often seen New Zealanders making their way to semis but they have never got past it. Looks like with the quality of players we see in their line-up, there is a realistic chance for them to clinch the Cup for the first time in the history. They also have the psychological advantage over Aussies following their clean sweep in Chappell-Hadlee series just before the world cup.

West Indies: 177 all out (Gayle 44, Oram 3/23, Bond 3/31, Vettori 3/39)
New Zealand: 3 for 179 (Styris 80*, Fleming 45, Powell 2/39)

Image src: cricinfo
Tech Tag(s):

No comments: