New Zealand make it 3 out of 3

In a match with a strongly antipodean flavour with the Blackcaps playing a team whose backbone comes from that part of the world as well, New Zealand had no trouble in cruising to a 114-run win against Canada in their final Group C match at St Lucia.

Canada’s Captain John Davison is a product of the Australian Cricket Academy’s Class of ’93, and Canadian born Ian Billcliff and New Zealander Geoff Barnett have played provincial cricket in New Zealand.

As it panned out, it was this trio who were the most impressive players in Canada’s innings.

Canada won the toss and sent New Zealand into bat. The trend in this competition has been for captains winning the toss to bowl first to make use of the early morning dew resulting from the 9:30am starts.

Lou Vincent came to the crease today with question marks over his form. With two ducks in the competition so far, he needed runs on the board. He answered his critics in emphatic style, hitting one six and nine fours for a match winning 101. This last summer New Zealand’s weakness was seen to be their top order batsmen, particularly their openers. However, both Vincent and Captain Stephen Fleming who made 66 with one 6 and eight 4’s, laid a very solid foundation for this innings. The first New Zealand wicket didn’t fall until 142 runs had been scored.

Peter Fulton also chipped in with 47. In the last seven overs McCullum and Oram put on 85. McCullum scored the fasted 50 in a World Cup competition with five 6’s and one 4 off 20 balls.

In reply, Canada were determined not to lie down, and their first over yielded 14 runs. Davison was particularly ruthless against Tuffey and Mason who were playing this match instead of usual strike bowlers Shane Bond and James Franklin. Davison’s opening partner Geoff Barnett was also taking the wood to New Zealand. After five overs Canada were 52 without loss. However, when Davison fell for 52 the intensity of the Canadian innings faltered, and even with fine innings of 50 from Billcliff and 40 from Barnett the writing was on the wall for Canada and they were finally all out for 249.

Canada had no wins from their three group matches. They were slow to warm up in this tournament, getting better and better with each game. If they had played the way they did in this match against Kenya they could have won that match, and left this competition able to say they played their best.

New Zealand on the other hand have played good all round cricket to top Group C. However, it remains to be seen whether New Zealand can match the power hitting of South Africa and Australia to win this competition for the first time.

New Zealand 363-5
Lou Vincent 101, Stephen Fleming 66, Brendon McCullum 52*
Kevin Sandher 2-58

Canada 249
John Davison 52, Ian Billcliff 50
Daniel Vettori 3-57, Jeetan Patel 3-25

New Zealand won by 114 runs

Cricket Web Player of the Match – Lou Vincent 101 (117)

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