Styris powers Kiwis to 275, WI stumble
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Styris powers Kiwis to 275, WI stumble

The New Zealand allrounder hit unbeaten 103 and then came back to pick 2 crucial wickets on the first day of the 1st test against West Indies.

india Updated: Mar 09, 2006 17:11 IST

New Zealand showed the effects of an enforced diet of limited-overs cricket as it made 275 Thursday behind a Scott Styris century on the first day of the first test against the West Indies.

The West Indies were 51 for three in reply at stumps, losing two wickets to Styris' gentle medium pace in the second-to-last over of the day at Eden Park.

New Zealand's last 22 matches have been one-dayers and its batsmen, apart from Styris who batted three hours, 12 minutes for an unbeaten 103, struggled to shrug off one-day habits as they were sent in after the West Indies won the toss.

Even Nathan Astle, who made 51 to rally New Zealand which had been 70 for 4 at lunch, did so from 53 balls, with 10 fours and at a rollicking, one-day pace.

At the height of its innings in the second session, New Zealand added 146 runs for the loss of three wickets from 27 overs, moving from that tenuous 70 for four to 216 for seven.

Astle completed his half century in that period and Brendan McCullum belted 19 runs from 15 balls with four fours as if he was leading a limited-overs run chase.

He was partly forced in to that style by a lack of early form, struggling at the start of his innings to discover his footwork and timing, deferring to Astle who was already in a flow.

"I love playing at Eden Park. It seems to be kind to me and I was lucky again today," Styris said.

"If you grind it out you can score runs out there, but you also have to play some shots because the ball did a bit all day," he said. "It's still evenly balanced, I think. If we can bowl well, 275 might be a good score."

As his innings developed and Astle, McCullum and Daniel Vettori quickly departed, Styris played with style and confidence, taking his runs equally with shots square of the wicket and down the ground.

He played cultured cover drives and controlled crossbat shots which produced fours to the Eden Park's shortest boundaries between square and fine leg.

A middle-order anchor role such as Styris', supported by a half century such as Astle's would usually have produced a larger total, but the West Indies were able to take wickets regularly in warm, overcast conditions.

Ian Bradshaw, given a test debut at 31, took two wickets in a strenuous opening session, whipping through New Zealand's inexperienced top order in which Jamie How (11) and Peter Fulton (17) were making their debuts.

Bradshaw returned to claim a late wicket, to finish with three for 73 from 23.1 overs, but failed as a nightwatchman, making a debut duck.

Smith took three wickets in the afternoon, swinging the ball both ways, to finish with three for 71 while Chris Gayle wrapped up the tail after tea, taking two for 10.

The West Indies were coasting at 47 without loss, having negotiated a difficult last hour in which the ball swung wildly.

They had all the first-day honors until Styris struck twice, removing Chris Gayle and Bradshaw, and Martin dismissed Daren Ganga to leave the match evenly poised.

First Published: Mar 09, 2006 16:47 IST