CricInfo at World Cup 1999
[The ICC Cricket World Cup - England 1999]

New Zealand v West Indies, Group B
Trevor Chesterfield - 24 May 1999

SOUTHAMPTON (England) - So much for reputations. In the sort of weather Ken Rutherford would enjoy and the English seem to thrive, the West Indians finally brought some flair to the carnival and kept alive their hopes of qualifying for the World Cup Super Sixes.

While we were dismissing the global warming theory for the current big freeze which has most of us shivering from Canterbury to The Oval with places such as Leeds in between, Ridley Jacobs led the Caribbean islanders to a three wickets win over New Zealand at the Hampshire County ground yesterday.

In an innings of strength and quality the Antiguan showed why he is the top wicketkeeper/batsman at the tournament and was a certainty for the man of the match award with an impressive undefeated 80

Not surprisingly it was his highest limited-overs international score, surpassing the 68 scored last season.

For the Kiwis, so used to such Dunedin style climatic conditions served up yesterday, the defeat meant a big bump on terra firma after their victory over Australia last week meant they needed to beat the West Indies to maintain their challenge for a Super Six place. Now they need to work a little harder to reach the top three in Group B.

For the West Indies, however, this his was a far different Carribean side to the rabble which laboured their way through South Africa some months ago. They looked a touch better, their fielding was much tighter and the bowling from Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh was far sharper and had purpose about their approach to the game.

Brian Lara winning the toss also helped their cause. The pitch contained bounce and lift: the sort you do not see at most grounds and undid the Kiwis top-order as early wickets tumbled to Walsh and Ambrose, although it was Reon King and Mervyn Dillon who wrecked what chances there were of recovery.

Dillon's four wicket-haul yet again showed the folly of the West Indies selectors for pulling him out of the limited-overs series against South Africa. It was his ability to move the ball around and use the wind to help his swing which terminated promising partnerships and kept the Kiwis battling for runs.

There was a 50-runs partnership between Adam Parore and Chris Harris for the seventh wicket which at least gave some substance to the New Zealand innings of 156.

It was not a total which was going to present too much trouble to West Indies side which needed to win yesterday.

As for the Kiwis, they did what they could. They had retained the same squad which beat Australia and did what they could to remain competitive. But their bowling found conditions flattening out in the afternoon., yet despite good fielding along with Javed Akhtar's interpretation of a wide as well at the lbw law, they did not get the breakthough they wanted.

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