| John Davison en route to his 75 during Canada’s match versus New Zealand in Benoni. (Reuters)
Benoni: New Zealand threw caution to the wind as they hurtled to a five-wicket win over Canada Monday, in the process squashing any hope the West Indies may have had of advancing to the Super Sixes of the World Cup.
Chasing Canada’s 196, the New Zealanders lost skipper Stephen Fleming, Nathan Astle and Craig McMillan early in a frenetic run chase before galloping home in 23 overs in a last-ditch attempt to increase their run rate in their final group B outing.
Scott Styris, who made 54 not out off 38 balls, ended the game by hitting a four, a six, a four and a single off the final four deliveries from medium-pacer Barry Seebaran.
That gave New Zealand 16 points — equal with Kenya, who have already qualified for the Super Sixes, and Sri Lanka.
South Africa’s misfortune allowed the Black Caps to progress along with Sri Lanka. As of now, Group B is topped by Sri Lanka with 18 points, followed by New Zealand and Kenya on 16.
“We were not sure which way the Durban game will go, so we were always going to go hard at the start,” Fleming said. “We trusted the guys down at the bottom of the order. They can hit the ball well, and they did.”
The West Indies, meanwhile, can already start packing. Carl Hooper’s side plays Kenya on Tuesday in their last game but can only reach 14 points.
New Zealand won the toss Monday but were frustrated by Man-of-the-Match John Davison’s sparkling 75 before the Canadians were dismissed in 47 overs.
Davison, who later took three for 61, reached his half-century from 25 balls — equalling the third quickest fifty in World Cup history. Davison, who struck the quickest ever World Cup century against the West Indies eight days ago, hit two fours and a six in the fourth over from Andre Adams and moved to his half-century by smashing Jacob Oram for three sixes in an over.
Frustrated by accurate bowling from left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori and medium-pacer Chris Harris, however, Davison then holed out to long-on trying to loft Harris for another six. The rest of the innings failed to emulate Davison as Oram took four for 52, while pace bowler Shane Bond took three for 29.
In reply, the New Zealanders set off in sprint mode and held their nerve despite a clatter of early wickets.
Skipper Fleming (5) was run out after a ridiculous mix-up with McMillan (14), who was caught off a skied edge after Astle (11) charged at Davison’s off-spin and was stumped.
That made it 32 for three after four overs but the carnage continued, Andre Adams making a 20-ball 36, Chris Harris 38 off 29 balls and Styris 54 off 38 balls.
Styris paid tribute to Harris for steadying New Zealand nerves after they lost their fifth wicket for 114. “We call him the king (in those situations). He was fantastic,” said Styris.