Sun, Mar 14, 2004 - Page 24 News List

Kiwis and South Africa end in draw

HAMILTON , NEW ZEALAND, HARARE, ZIMBABWE AND KINGSTON, JAMAICA

Jacob Oram batted five hours on a crater-filled pitch for a maiden century as the first cricket test between New Zealand and South Africa headed towards a draw after its fourth day yesterday.

Oram was left 119 not out, the holder of two fresh partnership records, as New Zealand amassed 509 in its first innings, surpassing South Africa's 459.

The total, increased from 361-7 overnight, was New Zealand's highest in a test match against South Africa, surpassing a mark of 505 which stood for 50 years.

South Africa lost two wickets before it erased the 50-run first-innings deficit, lost another in the last hour and was 134-3 at stumps, 84 ahead with seven wickets standing.

Weighted heavily by the events of the day, the scale of the match tipped in New Zealand's favor. But it seems unlikely with only 90 overs remaining and a crumbling pitch that either side can win.

South Africa would have to collapse spectacularly to offer New Zealand the chance to take a 1-0 lead in the three-test series -- or score quickly to force a run chase on the last day.

With Jacques Kallis at the crease, 56 not out overnight and batting in the manner which has seen him score 858 runs in his last five matches, a South African collapse seems improbable.

And while 968 runs were scored in the first two innings, the pitch is producing enough eccentric bounce and turn to caution South Africa against a race toward a declaration.

South African captain Graeme Smith remained optimistic.

"We're probably in a better position than they are," he said. "If we can score quickly tomorrow anything can happen on this pitch."

Zimbabwe versus Bangladesh

Zimbabwe beat Bangladesh by 14 runs at Harare Sports Club in the fourth one-day international on Friday to level the series 1-1.

Zimbabwe made 242 for eight in its 50 overs after a poor start. Twice in its innings, it was in trouble at 34 for three and 79 for five. Captain Heath Streak led the revival with 45 runs and four wickets.

Bangladesh batted second and also struggled early in its innings, falling to 40 for three at one stage. The run rate was an achievable eight an over in the final stages, but Bangladesh's tail order couldn't match it and finished with a total of 228.

The fifth and final match of the series will be played at the same venue on Sunday. The first two matches were washed out in Bulawayo last weekend. Wednesday, Bangladesh won its first one-day international in four years with an eight-run victory.

The win was a boost for Streak, who was named man of the match. He scored 45 just when his side was struggling, featuring in what turned out to be a decisive 76-run partnership with Sean Ervine, who topscored with 50.

West Indies versus England

West Indies fast bowler Fidel Edwards rattled England with his hostile pace, but Mark Butcher and Nasser Hussain helped the tourists share honors on a rain-shortened second day of the opening cricket test on Friday.

Butcher scored 58 and Hussain an unbeaten 41, helping to lift England from 33 for 2 with a third-wicket stand of 119, to 156-3 at stumps. England trailed the West Indies by 157 on the first innings.

Edwards, who was consistently clocked at over 145kph, captured all three wickets for 50 off 16 overs.

Earlier, the West Indies added no runs to its overnight score of 311-9 before Matthew Hoggard took his third wicket to end the innings. Hoggard had Edwards caught by Andrew Flintoff at second slip, one-handed low to his left.

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