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The Electronic Telegraph Australia v New Zealand, Group-B
Peter Deeley - 20 May 1999

Twose fuels his ambition with a victorious innings

New Zealand (214-5) bt Australia (213-8) by 5 wkts

Inspired by an expatriate Devonian who left England to find love and cricket glory, New Zealand humbled Australia yesterday in this clash of the arch-rivals from across the Tasman Sea.

Roger Twose is not a name that immediately springs to mind in the context of heroic performers, but he reached hitherto unsuspected heights here and left the World Cup second favourites with the reddest of faces.

A journeyman player at Edgbaston for six seasons, Twose is credited with having put up the sign in the Warwickshire dressing-room, saying: ``Welcome to the second-best left-hander in the world'', when Brian Lara arrived in Birmingham.

The nephew of former England wicketkeeper Roger Tolchard, Twose emigrated in 1985 to New Zealand, where he has family connections, partly driven by love and by an ambition to achieve at the highest level.

He made the Test team but after a miserable tour of the Caribbean, where his technique was exposed by quick bowling, he decided to take a year off. ``I was stale, and wanted to look at where my life was going,'' he said. ``I came back hungrier.''

It was Australia's misfortune that Twose developed a fresh appetite for runs. Who could blame this most unlikely of headline-grabbers for his dance of jubilation when his 10th and final boundary slammed into the fence off Damien Fleming to give underdogs New Zealand victory with nearly five overs left?

When Twose and Chris Cairns came together, New Zealand were already almost in the land of the lost at 49 for four. In 29 overs they added 148 and emasculated one of the best attacks in the world.

Cairns hit three sixes, two of them out of the ground off Shane Warne into the river, where the balls were lost. He scored 60 in 77 balls before falling to a steepling catch by Adam Dale off Fleming.

But it was far too late for Australia to avoid indignity, and Adam Perore inflicted the final insult when he flicked Glenn McGrath off his toes square for another six. Steve Waugh's side knew then that they would have to fight for their lives in the remaining three group games even to make the Super Sixes.

The Australia captain said afterwards: ``We had our chances in the field to wrap up the game, but failed. Our form has to improve. The equation is simple: we win our last three games, or we go home. It's up to every individual to lift himself now.''

Twose survived a torrid start to his innings, twice hit around the body by Glenn McGrath, finally getting off the mark with a miscued pull which just fell out of reach of the field and then surviving when he reached 14 as Fleming caught the ball in the deep, only for McGrath to be called for over-stepping the line.

Twose, who won the individual match award, admitted that it was his finest innings at this level. He was particularly pleased to have done it against Australia: ``We [New Zealanders] see them as bullies in the way they try to dominate and suppress us.''

In Melbourne overnight, Warne's wife gave birth to a son, Jackson, and the proud father hung a banner with lovey-dovey sentiments over the dressing-room railings.

New Zealand did not reciprocate, however. Warne got a wicket with his third ball when Craig McMillan, unable to use his feet because of a pulled muscle, lunged at a turning ball and was picked up at midwicket.

But when Warne came back for his final three overs New Zealand were already running hot, and his decision to go round the wicket to make a breakthrough cost 11 runs in the over.

When Steve Waugh chose to bat after winning the toss, Geoff Allott quickly dismissed both Australian openers to capitalise on his form in the first game against Bangladesh, when he took three for 30.

This time Allott, a former bank clerk, finished with four for 37. He is quickly proving one of New Zealand's major plusses in this tournament.

Ricky Ponting and Darren Lehmann added 94 for the third wicket, but when Lehmann went after scoring 76 off 94 balls, Australia's last 10 overs produced only 47 runs.

Source: The Electronic Telegraph
Editorial comments can be sent to The Electronic Telegraph at et@telegraph.co.uk