Vincent helps Kiwis set big target for Aussies

Published: Sunday, February 4, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Melbourne:Opener Lou Vincent backed up his tough talk with a superb 90 to lay the foundation for New Zealand's total of 290 for seven in the triangular series One-day international against Australia at the MCG here.

Having labelled the Australians arrogant in the media earlier in the week, Vincent was under pressure to deliver and did so despite a searing spell of fast bowling from Australian quick Shaun Tait.

Tait eventually got his man with the penultimate delivery of his 10 overs, but Vincent had already done enough to ensure the Black Caps would set Australia a big target under lights after captain Stephen Fleming won the toss and elected to bat.

To win, Australia were going to need to set a new record run-chase at the venue.

Vincent combined with the busy Peter Fulton (60) for a 151-run second-wicket partnership that put the Kiwis on top and was only five runs shy of the record for that wicket for the Black Caps.

It was the rejuvenated Vincent's third half-century in as many matches since being recalled to replace the retired Nathan Astle.

He faced 113 balls, hitting six fours and one six straight down the ground off pace bowler Brett Lee.

In three tri-series matches, Vincent has 232 runs at 77.33.

Vincent looked set for a century until Tait burst through his defences and bowled him off his pads.

The wicket capped a fine bowling performance from Tait, who copped severe treatment in his first game but might have bowled himself into the Australian World Cup squad against the Kiwis.

He claimed 1-26 bowling fast inswingers and stepped into the rarefied group of the quickest bowlers in the world.

Tait's first ball was 152.9 kilometres an hour (99 miles an hour) and in his second over, he sent down a delivery to Vincent that was 160kmh, just shy of the magical 100mph barrier.

In doing so, he became just the third bowler, behind Shoaib Akhtar and Lee, to officially reach 160kmh.

At the other end of the scale, some assured spin bowling by Michael Clarke helped rein in the Black Caps in the middle of their innings, after they looked set to score well over 300 when they were 1-162 after 31 overs.

Clarke (2-45) claimed the wickets of Fulton and Ross Taylor with his well-flighted finger spinners.

Jacob Oram again came in swinging, hitting Lee for six from the seventh ball he faced, but was then caught in the deep by Brad Hodge in the same over for 15.

Scott Styris (34) and Brendon McCullum (19) charged late, taking 18 off the 47th over, delivered by Lee, who went for 71 from his 10 overs.

The Black Caps hit 50 off the last four overs as Australia's recent problems containing sides in the final overs continued.


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