Kimberley: New Zealand stayed on course for making the Super Sixes of the World Cup after brushing aside Bangladesh by seven wickets on Wednesday. Craig McMillan hit 75 off 83 balls as the Kiwis overtook Bangladesh's modest 198 for seven in the 34th over at the De Beers Oval. The win helped New Zealand join Kenya and Sri Lanka at the top of Group 'B' on 12 points each, two ahead of the West Indies and four points clear of host South Africa.
The Kiwis, who play Canada in their last match at Benoni next Monday, will have to wait till the league ends the next day to know their fate. For Bangladesh, it was its 28th defeat in the last 30 matches - the other two were washed out - with a game in hand against Kenya. McMillan and captain Stephen Fleming put on 71 for the first wicket by the 15th over when Khaled Mahmud took a return catch to grab the first of his three wickets.
Mahmud clean bowled McMillan and removed pinch-hitter Andre Adams, before Scott Styris and Chris Cairns added 61 for the unbroken fourth wicket to take New Zealand home. Styris made 37 not out while Cairns returned unbeaten on 33 as Bangladesh found to its dismay that its best score in the tournament was child's play for the Kiwis.
Earlier, Bangladesh captain Khaled Mashud and Mohammad Rafique smashed 70 off 69 balls for the unbroken eighth wicket after they were reduced to 128 for seven by the 39th over. Mashud, who won the toss and elected to bat, made 35 not out while Rafique hit three boundaries and two sixes in his 41 off 42 balls. The late onslaught came after a fine display by left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori who kept the batsmen under a tight leash by conceding just 19 runs in his 10 overs.
Shane Bond and Jacob Oram picked up three wickets each, but fellow seamer Adams was plundered for 50 runs in his 10-over spell. Young batsman Mohammad Ashraful had earlier held the top order together with a stylish 56 before he gave Bond a return catch. But four other top order batsmen failed to reach double figures, before Mashud and Rafique repaired the damage with the slog in the end. Copyright AFP 2001