Oram gets back his wicket-taking form
Stats highlights from New Zealand's comfortable seven-wicket victory against West Indies in Antigua.
Scott Styris and Craig McMillan finished it off in style, but New Zealand's comprehensive seven-wicket victory was set up by their bowlers. Shane Bond and Michael Mason were outstanding with the new ball, while Jacob Oram and Daniel Vettori backed them superbly later in the innings.
The numbers don't show it, but the first 11 overs of the West Indies innings witnessed perhaps the best new-ball spell of the tournament. Both Bond and Mason bowled impeccable lengths, as the table below shows: 86% of the balls pitched on a good length. They also induced a not-in-control factor of 20%, which means one in every five deliveries beat the bat, induced an edge or rapped the pads. Bond beat the bat or induced an edge seven times in his first five overs, while the corresponding figure for Mason was five in six overs.
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Neither bowler was rewarded sufficiently at the time - though Bond later finished with three wickets - but that only meant an opportunity for Oram to finally get among the wickets and break his barren run with the ball. He has been in excellent touch with the bat, but in his last eight ODIs - in which he bowled 50 overs - Oram had managed just a solitary wicket at an average of 245 and an economy rate of nearly five. His performance today enhances an already strong bowling line-up and gives New Zealand more attacking options through the rest of the tournament.
Chris Gayle survived that torrid spell but missed out on an opportunity to break out of a slump which has fetched him just 226 runs in his last , at an average of 17.38. Five of his last eight innings have been single-digit scores, and if West Indies are to put up a better fight in the remaining games, much will depend on Gayle getting his form back.
With inputs from Rajesh Kumar.