Sarwan, Jacobs effort in vain; Kiwis earn first points

Published: Friday, February 14, 2003, 3:45 [IST]
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Port Elizabeth: Andre Adams shone with bat and ball as New Zealand bounced back in the World Cup with a 20-run victory over the West Indies at St. George's Park on Thursday.

The 27-year-old from Auckland smashed a quick fire 35 off 24 balls to lift the Kiwis to 241-7 before claiming four wickets as the West Indies was bowled out for 221. New Zealand, which lost its opening fixture to Sri Lanka, needed a win after refusing to play against Kenya in Nairobi on February 21 due to security reasons, a decision which could cost it four points.

Ramnaresh Sarwan, who top-scored with 78, and a half-century from Ridley Jacobs gave the West Indies a semblance of a fight by adding a record 98 for the seventh wicket after it was reduced to 80-6 in the 21st over. The stand was New Zealand's best for the seventh wicket in the World Cup, surpassing the 83 by Stephen Fleming and Chris Harris against Pakistan in England four years ago. But once spinner Daniel Vettori bowled Sarwan, New Zealand pressed home the advantage to force a crucial win. Adams, hit for three boundaries in one over by opener Chris Gayle, took revenge by removing Gayle, Wavell Hinds and Carl Hooper in the space of 14 balls to leave West Indies reeling at 46-4.

Brian Lara, who scored a match-winning century against South Africa last Sunday, was run out for two as Lou Vincent flicked the ball from the boundary to Chris Cairns, who caught the batsman short of his crease with a direct throw from the edge of the circle. Jacob Oram stepped in to remove Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Ricardo Powell even as Chris Cairns, bowling for the first time in a year following a knee injury, was thrashed for 21 runs in one over before being taken off the attack.

Earlier, Adams and Brendon McCullum put on 53 off just 44 balls for the eighth wicket after New Zealand was reduced to 188-7. Adams smashed two towering sixes and a boundary in his 24-ball 35. McCullum, who came in for Craig McMillan, returned unbeaten on 36. New Zealand was restricted at the start by part-timer Hinds, who doubled his career tally of wickets with 3-35. New Zealand showed its desperation to win by promoting left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori to open the innings with captain Fleming, but the gamble backfired.

Fleming hooked Mervyn Dillon for a four and six before offering a return catch for 25. Vettori saw his stumps castled by Vasbert Drakes after making just 13. Scott Styris, who hit a magnificent 141 against Sri Lanka, managed only five when he holed out against Drakes. Astle and Chris Cairns retrieved the situation by adding 64 for the fourth wicket when Hinds broke through with the help of a contentious decision by South African umpire Rudi Koertzen. Koertzen ruled Astle caught behind for 46 as television replays showed the ball may have missed the bat.

The preliminary Group 'B' is now wide open with all three second-round berths up for grabs. South Africa, West Indies, New Zealand and Sri Lanka all have one win each. New Zealand next play hosts South Africa at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Sunday. The West Indies takes on minnows Bangladesh at Benoni on Tuesday.

AFP Copyright AFP 2001

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