Astle~~s ton propels New Zealand to 256-9 against World XI

Published: Monday, January 24, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Wellington:Opener Nathan Astle's century provided the backbone in New Zealand's innings of 256-9 against a World XI here in a One-day charity match to raise money for tsunami victims.

Astle started aggressively but settled into the anchor role, batting through 44.3 overs of the innings as the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations (FICA) World XI gradually tamed the rest of the batting line-up.

Astle scored his 109 in 113 balls and hit nine fours and one six, finally being caught in the gully off the bowling of Andy Bichel. He was the best of the World XI bowlers, finishing with 3-56 from his 10 overs.

Fans got to see more of Sri Lankan off-spinning ace Muttiah Muralitharan and his rival for title of most successful bowler in Test history -- Australia's Shane Warne -- after they were caned in New Zealand's easy nine wicket victory in just 16.1 overs in the first game of the series on Saturday in Christchurch.

In the latest of the three match series to raise money for tsunami victims, both impressed with their skills but did not figure prominently amongst the wickets. Muralitharan took 1-46 from his eight overs while World XI skipper Warne finished with 0-44 off 10 overs.

After winning the toss, the World XI made a crucial early breakthrough in the fourth over when Sri Lankan opening bowler Chaminda Vaas took a simple caught and bowled chance from New Zealand skipper Stephen Fleming on 14.

The Kiwi opener had threatened to unleash another batting onslaught following his stunning 106 off 57 balls on Saturday.

By the 10 over mark, New Zealand had raced to 68-1, but the introduction of Sri Lanka's Sanath Jayasuriya slowed the pace.

Astle and Matthew Sinclair (30) added a valuable 82 runs for the second wicket and recalled batsman Craig McMillan scored 33, including three sixes before falling to Jayasuriya. Daniel Vettori made a quick fire 26 at the tail of the innings after the World XI successfully applied the brakes to the scoring rate.

South African Lance Klusener chipped in for the World XI, taking 2-35 off seven overs, and Jayasuriya was the model of economy with 1-38 from 10 overs.

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