A patient century from Lou Vincent was the highlight of an Impressive top-order batting performance from the BLACKCAPS against the West Indies in the fourth One-Day International of The National Bank Series at Napier’s McLean Park.
Vincent enjoyed century stands with Stephen Fleming and Nathan Astle as he made 102 off 116 balls as the BLACKCAPS made for 324 for six, their highest-ever One-Day score against the touring side.
So often the big hitter, Vincent’s second ODI hundred was a display of mature, controlled batting before being caught by Daren Ganga off Dwayne Smth,
Astle continued his form, making 81 off 89 balls in a 156 second-wicket partnership with Vincent.
Ross Taylor made his debut, scoring 15 from 10 balls before getting run out as he sought to speed up the run rate in the seven overs offered after the fine start from the top order.
The BLACKCAPS were forced into bat Shivnarine Chanderpaul won his first toss of the tour.
Fleming had set his team accordingly, choc-full of specialist batsmen, but not even this most experienced of international captain could have anticipated such a healthy opening to the innings.
The Windies’ attack was dismissed to all corners of the ground, which made Fidel Edwards’ efforts all the more special.
The young speedster, the tourists’ star of the summer so far, conceded a mere 23 runs off his 10 overs, as his team-mates were treated contemptuously by a confident home side.
Opening bowler Ian Bradshaw was hit for 74 off his 10 overs, while Deighton Over was hit for 21 off his first of the day, and removed with four to spare.
And a ruthless Fleming led the assault, hitting six boundaries and four sixes for 67, off only 59 deliveries faced in an opening pairing worth 106 before he was caught behind by Denesh Ramdin off Chris Gayle.
Unfazed, Vincent continued to accumulate runs at a steady ate, while Astle – if not quite carrying on where he left off so spectacularly in Christchurch - keeping up the momentum.
The pair continued on strongly until Astle’s demise, on 81, in a similar fashion to Vincent, caught by Ganga at long-on off Gayle after an attempted six fell short.
Such assured starts are rarely maintained and it again proved the case.
Taylor made a promising cameo, before his run out chasing a second run and Scott Styris made only five before falling to Gayle, caught Smith.
Brendon McCullum fell in the penultimate over, caught Ramnaresh Sarwan off Bradshaw for 21.
Edwards delivered the 50th over and conceded only two runs but the BLACKCAPS, who innings was completed by not-out batsmen Peter Fulton (12) and Hamish Marshall (two), had already mustered a highly-competitive score.