Kiwis set 279 to beat India
by AFP

Ground:Harare Sports Club, Harare
Event:Videocon Tri-Series 2005/06

DateLine: 2nd September 2005


Solid batting enabled New Zealand to fight back and post a total of 278-9 in their triangular series game against India at the Harare Sports Club on Friday.


Two spectacular run-outs to dismiss top order New Zealand batsmen had slowed down the Kiwis for a while in the fifth one-day international.


But once they got over the shocks New Zealand launched an assault in the final few overs to set India a difficult target of 279 to win.


All-rounders Scott Styris (56) and Craig McMillan (40) put on 87 for the fifth wicket after New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming, who opted to bat, had launched the innings with 47.


Pacemen Ashish Nehra, Irfan Pathan and Ajit Agarkar claimed two wickets each for India, while Jai Prakash Yadav took 1-34 from 10 overs.


Agarkar threw down the stumps of Fleming when the New Zealand captain was on 47 and in full flight, having used up only 53 balls.


Then Yuvraj Singh brought off a run-out which will challenge any seen anywhere in the world this year.


He made a diving stop 30 metres out from Hamish Marshall and in a flash had knocked over the one stump he could see. Lou Vincent was well out of his ground and there was no umpire referral necessary.


These two incidents not only stemmed the flow of runs from New Zealand's top order for a period but also made them nervous about taking short singles throughout the innings.


After their 50 overs New Zealand recorded a score of 278, marked by a succession of late wickets for India, but it could have been quite a few more.


The Kiwis had been scoring at more than five an over for the first 20, but slowed down before recovering momentum in the later stages, thanks mainly to McMillan and Styris' partnership.


The India fielding was generally good, with just one blemish when Pathan dropped McMillan when he was on 32, but it did not turn out to be expensive as McMillan was bowled for 40.


Styris went on to hit a top innings score of 56, his 12th half century.


India captured a succession of lower order wickets, but New Zealand had already built up a score which will be hard to surpass.


India captain Sourav Ganguly had promised an improved team for this match.


His batsmen will need to hold good his words to have a chance, though the wicket appears to be quicker and more conducive for run chasing than has been experienced in Harare so far in the triangular tournament.


Although the last five overs produced a spread of boundaries, the total is within India's reach, but not without some quality aggressive batting.


The Kiwis, who have won all three of their matches so far in the competition, had recalled all-rounders Cairns and Andre Adams in order to rest Shane Bond and Daniel Vettori.


India's Virender Sehwag returned in place of Venugopal Rao, who has failed to score in his last two innings, after sitting out Monday's win over Zimbabwe.

(Article: Copyright © 2005 AFP)