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Blackcaps win shoot out drama

A bowling shoot-out was required to decide the tied Twenty20 international between New Zealand and the West Indies at Eden Park.

A bowling shoot-out was required to decide the tied Twenty20 international between New Zealand and the West Indies at Eden Park.

Both teams finished with 126 runs, the West Indies, batting first, losing seven wickets, and the New Zealanders losing eight, and setting up the shoot-out thanks to a last ball four hit by fast bowler Shane Bond.

The first three bowlers, Nathan Astle, Jeetan Patel and Chris Cairns failed to hit the stumps, as did Dwayne Smith, Chris Gayle and Jerome Taylor from the West Indies.

But then Bond hit the wickets twice and when Ian Bradshaw couldn't hit, Scott Styris hit with his first ball to give New Zealand an unassailable lead.

It was hardly cricket but it did provide an entertaining end to a match that had disappointed with its lack of runs.

New Zealand went into the last over, after an impressive West Indies fightback, needing 16 runs.

The task was made easier when James Franklin hit a towering six of Ian Bradshaw's bowling.

Fears were that the West Indies, struggling as they have been in recent history, might lack the firepower to ignite the game.

What wasn't expected was the New Zealand would struggle in reply.

Almost as bad as New Zealand's batting was the lax security which saw three interruptions by streakers. The joke is long past and an embarrassment.

Tight bowling from both sides dominated the match.

Initially New Zealand's bowlers found their mark and restricted the boundaries, making life difficult for run scoring for the 27,831 who turned out to watch.

The West Indies scored 126-7 in their first taste of the game.

The match then became even more a Chris Cairns farewell, with Bond providing just a hint of what the visitors might expect in the one-day internationals and Test matches ahead with two for 15 from his four overs.

If Cairns did nothing else in his farewell match, his first over run out of Dwayne Smith would have been enough for his fans.

Following through as Daren Ganga played the ball to the off-side, Cairns raced through, picked up the ball and with a backhand flick had Smith well out of his ground, although that opened the way for umpire Brent Bowden to indulge in an extravagant request to the third umpire.

But that wasn't all.

Wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin hit out with the short cover boundary in view in the final over.

Lurking on the boundary however, racing around with ease was Cairns to pull in the catch.

New Zealand's fielding was sharp, and epitomized by a piece of boundary fielding by Nathan Astle who flicked a drive from Wavell Hinds off the boundary rope to James Franklin. Franklin then threw the perfect ball to break the wickets with Shivnarine Chanderpaul having to race to make his ground when it had seemed secure.

Chanderpaul, attempted a reverse sweep, found Hamish Marshall at backward square leg and when Wavell Hinds left the bowler's end too soon, Marshall rifled a return to off-spinner Jeetan Patel who had plenty of time to lift the bails.

By that stage the West Indies were in strife at 79-5 after 14 overs.

New Zealand lost skipper Stephen Fleming when he spooned a ball to mid-on in the second over to depart for six while Nathan Astle holed out for 5 to a fine diving catch by Chanderpaul at mid-on.

Styris hit out for 19 off 16 balls and Cairns came in at his fall. But there was no last match magic, he was bowled by Dwayne Bravo for two. Bravo had little chance to celebrate as he left the field injured straight after. Salve helices pariah inure paleoserology evangelistic?
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