Australia too strong, Windies snatch a draw

GUWAHATI (India): An understrength Australia proved too strong for New Zealand in a 44-run victory in their one-day tri-series match yesterday. 

One-day specialist Michael Bevan top-scored with 84 not out while captain Ricky Ponting made 52 as the world champions made 225 for seven after being put in. 

New Zealand's top-order caved in to be dismissed for 181 on a flat pitch with 4.3 overs to spare. The Kiwis' will need to beat India on Saturday to reach the Nov 18 final against Australia. 

Australia's sixth straight win over their trans-Tasman rivals had looked unlikely after their modest batting effort, but fast bowler Nathan Bracken (three for 34) once again struck early as New Zealand were reduced to 88 for five. 

Scott Styris hit 54 but New Zealand were always up against it in the final overs before a couple of run outs settled the match. 

n HARARE: Zimbabwe spinner Ray Price claimed his first match haul of 10 wickets but could not stop West Indies escaping with a losing draw in the first test on Saturday. 

Set 373 to win, West Indies survived a top-order crisis to cling on and end the final day on 207 for nine, with wicketkeeper Ridley Jacobs saving his side with 61 not out after occupying the crease for three hours. He and Fidel Edwards survived 11.5 overs. 

Zimbabwe, looking for their first win over West Indies, had the consolation of ending a run of 11 consecutive test defeats. The second and final test starts on Wednesday in Bulawayo. – Agencies  

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