WC 2003 - Zaheer joins the party, rips the Kiwis apart

Published: Friday, March 14, 2003, 23:18 [IST]
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Centurion: Zaheer Khan claimed two wickets off consecutive balls in the first over as India shot out New Zealand for 146 in the World Cup Super Sixes match on Friday.The Kiwis, needing a win to qualify for the semi-finals, were reduced to 88 for 6 after being sent to bat by Indian captain Saurav Ganguly at the SuperSport Park.A victory for India, which has already qualified for the semi-finals, will resurrect the campaign of its Asian neighbours Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka must then defeat Zimbabwe at East London on Saturday to enter the semi-finals where defending champion Australia await it.Zaheer equalled his One-day best of 4 for 42 against Zimbabwe at Sharjah two years ago on his way to surpassing the 100-wicket mark in the Limited Overs game.The left-armer was unlucky not to post career-best figures as umpire Daryl Harper turned down a close appeal for leg-before against Daniel Vettori.

Zaheer was also restricted to eight overs with Ganguly employing part-timers Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Dinesh Mongia and himself to share the 10 overs of the fifth bowler.That allowed the Kiwi tail to boost the score as Jacob Oram made 23, Vettori 13 and Daryl Tuffey 11."I had been disappointed with my form so far. Javagal Srinath and Ashish Nehra have been playing really well so it was good for me to do so well today," said Zaheer."It's a great feeling to have reached the 100 wicket milestone - it's a great moment in my career."I had a great start today with the early wickets, but to be honest, I was disappointed that I couldn't continue it.

However, I did well to come back and take more wickets."Zaheer, given the new ball in place of senior partner Srinath, struck with his second delivery when Craig McMillan flicked straight to Harbhajan Singh at square-leg.Next ball, Zaheer trapped new man Nathan Astle leg-before to make it 0-2. Scott Styris denied Zaheer a hat-trick but could not get past the other left-arm seamer in the Indian team, Nehra, who had him caught behind for 15.

Zaheer, taken off after three overs in which he gave away 28 runs, returned for his second spell to claim his 100th One-day wicket when he clean bowled Brendon McCullum.New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming was the top scorer with 30 before he drove Srinath early and was caught by Tendulkar at mid-off.Copyright AFP 2001

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