The Kiwis flew as never before and landed safely in the Super Six sector of the World Cup 1999 on Monday at Edinburgh. The enthusiastic set of cricketers from New Zealand certainly deserved to have made this stage considering their admirable all-round skill. Today New Zealand were in an unenviable situation. They took on the wooden-spoonist Scotland in their last league match.
They needed a win which , if one goes by the form-book, hardly looked impossible. But then , New Zealand were forced to reach the victory target of 122 in 21.2 overs so as to edge out the West Indies from the race for top honours.
New Zealand achieved the target in only 17.5 overs losing four wickets. It may be argued that New Zealand were facing only a weak team and so the triumph could hardly be rated as incredible.
But it must be realised that in a World Cup championship, that too while undergoing a mental torture called the " Net Run Rate" , even the best of teams could not afford to take any opposition for granted.
Today New Zealand planned meticulously and their bowlers , especially Geoff Allott (3 for 15) and Chris Harris ( 4 for seven) , executed the plan in a manner born. Scotland began on a disastrous note losing three wickets for just 12 runs They, however, recovered gamely through Gavin Hamilton (20) and Ian Stanger (27) to 66 before losing another three wickets in the space of two runs ( 68 for six).
Then came the brightest moment for the Scots. Alex Davies (24) and Greig Williamson (10) progressed to 100 . There again a collapse set in. This time it was Chris Harris who mesmerised the remaining four batsmen in a dream spell of 3.1-0-7-4 and Scotland were all out for 121 in 42.1 overs.