Astle leads BLACKCAPS to victory

An unbeaten century by has seen the BLACKCAPS beat India in the final of the Videocon Triangular Series at Harare.

Chasing 277 for victory, Astle led from the front, batting through the New Zealand innings. His unbeaten 115 was scored off 131 deliveries and included 13 boundaries and one six.

Earlier in the day, it was India who were well in control. After winning the toss and electing to bat, they got off to a flying start, thanks mainly to Virender Sahwag (75 off 65). At 155 for one at the halfway mark, a score well in excess of 300 looked likely.

But two quick wickets then saw the run-rate dry up. From that point on, wickets began to fall at regular intervals. It was Mohammad Kaif who keep the innings together. He was unbeaten on 93 when his team were all out in the 50th over for 276.

Vettori was the pick of the New Zealand bowlers. He took two for 35 off his 10 overs. Jacob Oram claimed four for 58, coming back well after some early punishment.

The BLACKCAPS chase started well, with Astle and Stephen Fleming (61) hitting the Indian attack to all corners of the ground. They put on 121 for the first wicket at a good rate. Astle then added 58 with Scott Styris (37) and an unbeaten 71 with Lou Vincent (33 not out) to see his team home.

The winning runs were hit with 11 balls remaining and six wickets in hand. The match was the first final the two teams have met in since the 2000 Champions Trophy, where the New Zealanders were also victorious.

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