Kiwis get the better of World XI by four wickets

Published: Wednesday, January 26, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Hamilton:New Zealand beat a World XI by four wickets here in a one-day match spoiled by a sub-standard pitch which saw 16 wickets fall for 164 runs.

New Zealand lost six wickets in their struggle to overhaul a paltry World XI total of 81 on Wednesday. The victory clinched a 2-1 advantage for the home side in the three match series to raise funds for victims of the Asian tsunami.

Veteran all-rounder Chris Cairns took full advantage of the variable bounce and seaming conditions on the Westpac Park pitch to take 6-12 for New Zealand from 5.5 overs.

The World XI tumbled from a comfortable 59-1 just past the 10 over mark to lose their remaining nine wickets for only 22 runs in the next 10 overs.

New Zealand may have thought their victory would be just a formality and that appeared to be the case until Australia's Ian Harvey entered the attack and grabbed 4-17 from 4.2 overs.

The Kiwis slumped from a comfortable 55-2 to lose five wickets in the space of 10 runs before Hamish Marshall (16 not out) halted the slide to ensure New Zealand got home. Opener Nathan Astle topscored with 23 from 27 balls at the top of the innings to build the basis for victory.

Earlier Cairns and former All Black rugby winger Jeff Wilson joined forces to bundle the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations (FICA) World XI out in just 20.5 overs.

The visitors tumbled from a comfortable 59-1 just past the 10 over mark to lose their remaining nine wickets for only 22 runs.

Wilson, marking his return in this series to the New Zealand side after a 12 year absence during which he established a glittering rugby career, was devastating in support with 3-6 from four overs.

The seaming conditions provided five catches for wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum. One was off former Australian batsman Greg Blewett (0), who appeared to be unlucky with replays suggesting the ball brushed his pad rather than the bat.

There was little suggestion of the carnage to come in the opening overs when former England player Nick Knight and Australian Matthew Elliott took full advantage of occasionally loose bowling from Kyle Mills and Daryl Tuffey to get off to a lively start.

Knight was the heart of the World XI innings, making 43 before being bowled by Cairns in the midst of the collapse which saw five wickets fall for four runs and the score slump from 67-2 to 71-7.

Harvey and fellow Australian Blewett, former England player Graeme Hick and Sri Lankan Kumar Sangakkara were all out for ducks.

At the end of the match, the players returned for a 10 over a side match in an attempt to give the full house of spectators some value for their money.

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