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Astle plunders 145 in easy NZ win

Last updated on: September 10, 2004 22:38 IST
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New Zealand opener Nathan Astle plundered an unbeaten 145 from the modest US bowling on Friday to set up an untroubled 210-run victory in the ICC Champions Trophy opening Group A match at the Oval.

A sprinkling of spectators on a cool, overcast day watched New Zealand's most successful one-day batsman score his country's second highest individual score in a total of 347 for four. The win was also New Zealand's biggest in a one-day match.

The United States made a bright start in reply, reaching 52 without loss before the tall Jacob Oram, who finished with five for 36, struck with three wickets in an over.

Wickets fell at regular intervals thereafter, with the United States finally struggling to 137 all out in the 43rd over. Former West Indies opener Clayton Lambert was the highest scorer with 39 from 84 deliveries.

New Zealand started quietly, losing captain Stephen Fleming (15) and Hamish Marshall (11) within the first 15 overs.

Astle, who hit 13 fours and six fours from 151 deliveries, and Scott Styris (75 from 78 balls) turned the innings round with a third-wicket partnership of 163.

Chris Cairns made only three but Craig McMillan played an innings of calculated brutality with 64 from 27 balls including seven sixes. New Zealand struck 122 runs from the final six overs to post the third-highest total in a one-day international in England.

U.S. all-rounder Charles Reid, who nearly missed the game after being stuck in Florida because of Hurricane Frances, was the most economical of the U.S. bowlers with one for 37 from his 10 overs.

The United States, who qualified for the 12-nation tournament through the ICC Six Nations Challenge, are a collection of part-timers with 42-year-old Lambert their best-known player.

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