ICC Cricket World Cup West Indies 2007 |
Scott does it in style
Afp, Gros Islet
New Zealand all-rounder Scott Styris had one thing on his mind when he came to the crease against England: bat.
And the 31-year-old did that and more, scoring an unbeaten 87 as the Black Caps ultimately cruised to victory in their World Cup opener here Friday by six wickets with nine overs to spare.
But victory looked anything but assured when Styris came in at three for two. He could only watch as the Kiwis slumped to 19 for three and then 72 for four.
But together with fellow seam-bowling all-rounder Jacob Oram (63 not out) he shared an unbroken stand of 138 to see New Zealand to a victory that will secure them two points in the second phase, Super Eight stage should England qualify alongside them from a Group C also featuring Canada and Kenya.
"Just to bat really," said Styris when asked for his thoughts as he walked out at No 4 after a top-order collapse.
"We thought we could only lose the game if we got bowled out, so we really just had to go out and play and just take it as deep as we could. We have a naturally aggressive side and runs still came, probably for the last 30 overs, we didn't really need to take a risk."
Man-of-the-match Styris, who'd earlier taken two for 25, with his medium-pacers, faced 113 balls with nine fours.
It was a timely innings, representing his best performance with the bat since he returned in February from a back injury during the triangular series, won by England, in Australia.
"I hadn't played very well since I came back from my back injury so it was great to contribute today (Friday). I set myself to have a good World Cup and I wanted to do well here and it's been a good start."
Styris, who in 124 one-day internationals has scored 2,746 runs at an average of 29.52 with three hundreds and 16 fifties, said he had felt under pressure for his place from in-form batsman Peter Fulton, not selected for this match after sustaining a finger injury.
"You can't take your position for granted and we've got Peter Fulton, who missed out today (Friday), who's had a good last three, four, five matches so I knew the heat was on me to go out there and deliver put on a performance worthy of keeping my position in the side.
"I'm pleased that that was able to happen."