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The Electronic Telegraph Warm-up match: Hampshire v New Zealand
Simon Briggs at Southampton - 8 May 1999

New Zealand look the part

A soggy Southampton yesterday offered the first glimpse of the one team who will not be going home when their World Cup is over. As New Zealand powered to an eight-wicket victory over Hampshire, they looked a typically efficient one-day outfit, even if their attack lacked the kind of strike bowler that might concern England ahead of the Test series that starts in July.

The Kiwis may have dismissed only 15 South African batsmen in three Tests in March, but their bowlers are much more suited to the demands of the one-day game, where they take the pace off the ball and make the batsman do the work. There is no better exponent of the art than Chris Harris, the side's leading wicket-taker with 121 from 127 internationals.

In the 1992 World Cup, New Zealand finished first in the group stage, thanks largely to the efforts of Harris, Gavin Larsen and Rod Latham - a medium-paced trio known as Dibbly, Dobbly and Wobbly. Harris is deceptively difficult to score off, as he showed in a 10-over spell that yielded 27 runs and a wicket, but Latham has retired and Larsen was surprisingly left on the side lines for this game.

Coach Steve Rixon is still experimenting with the balance of the team, and Larsen is likely to play against Surrey on Monday - as might Simon Doull, a quality Test bowler with a one-day average of 41. The men to miss out are likely to be finger-spinner Daniel Vettori and left-arm seamer Geoff Allott, even though Allott led the attack with distinction, claiming two lbws in the seventh over.

Such was New Zealand's dominance that Hampshire's first boundary came in the 20th over, and they hit only two more on their way to 135 for six from 39 overs. It took two hours of rain, and one of Duckworth/Lewis' more eccentric calculations, to raise the target to a slightly more challenging 168, but the absence of the injured Nixon McLean made batting look like net practice for the Kiwis.

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