Fleming's Ton Thwarts Windies
Fri, Jun 21, '02
New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming stole the spotlight on the
opening day of the Kensington Oval test, helping himself to a
dogged century as the visitors recovered from early jitters to
reach 257 for six at stumps.
Fleming's 130 (230 balls, 20 fours) was the highlight of a topsy-turvy day that saw West Indies reducing New Zealand to 117 for five, only to surrender the advantage. Fleming put on sixth wicket stand of 108 Robbie Hart (34 not out). Opener Mark Richardson contributed 41.
Carl Hooper, who opted for the four-pronged pace attack of Merv
Dillon, Pedro Collins, Adam Sanford and debutant Darren Powell,
must have rued sending New Zealand in to bat on a batting-friendly
track. New Zealand's openers appeared at ease for the most part
before Dillon got an edge from Lou Vincent's bat with the score on
Fleming joined Richardson and the two waltzed to lunch at 77 for one. But, trouble was around the corner after the break with West Indies striking back, grabbing four quick wicket for 29 runs before Fleming's responsible knock saved the day.
Sanford knocked back the stumps of Richardson (88/2) and soon after Chris Harris nicked Pedro Collins to Brian Lara at first slip. Nathan Astle never settled and swiped at Dillon, only to again edge to Lara (106/4). Sanford's LBW shout against Craig McMillan was successful and New Zealand was soon up against it at 117/5.
But, once Fleming found an ally in Hart, the New Zealanders quickly restored order to the proceedings. Before long, the West Indies quickies looked a tired bunch, going through the motions with directionless short balls and general batting-practice ineffectiveness.
Hooper tried desperately to switch his bowlers around but nothing seemed to work until he took the ball himself and induced Fleming to attempt a cut that was snagged by Chris Gayle (225/6).
** CLICK HERE for CricInfo's scorecard of the first day's play.