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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Brendon McCullum eases Kiwis into last 8

Brendon McCullum eases Kiwis into last 8

Last updated on: March 13, 2011 19:05 IST

New Zealand booked their passage in the World Cup quarter-finals from Group A after Brendon McCullum set up a 97-run victory over Canada with a chanceless century at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai on Sunday.

- Scorecard | Images

McCullum's well-paced 101, plus a late flurry, which helped the Black Caps reach 358-6 with an overall tally of 12 sixes, left the Canadians with a target that proved far beyond them.

The North Americans' captain Ashish Bagai led a brave rearguard action, however, with 84 before cramps virtually crippled him and he was caught behind off Nathan McCullum.

Brendon McCullumJimmy Hansra also battled hard against the inevitable with a stubborn 70 not out but he too needed extensive treatment for cramps on a baking day at the Wankhede stadium, stage for the April 2 final, and retired hurt before returning with eight wickets down.

Canada, never up with the huge run rate, eventually finished on 261-9.

McCullum had earlier paced his innings at no more than a steady rate and passed 4,000 career ODI runs on 95 before reaching three figures in 107 balls including 12 fours and two sixes.

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He was out in the 37th over for 101, caught trying to speed up the run rate off Harvir Baidwan.

Ross Taylor, who destroyed the Pakistan attack in the Kiwis' last match, carried on in a similarly spectacular vein, firing past his half-century by scoring 28 runs off one hugely destructive over from Baidwan including four sixes and a four.

The stand-in skipper was eventually out for 74, having shared an explosive half-century fourth-wicket partnership with Nathan McCullum (10) reached in just 21 balls. In all, Taylor hit six fours and five sixes.

Scott Styris (35) and Kane Williamson (34 not out) added late salt to Canada's wounds with another half-century partnership for the sixth wicket on a track which offered little for either side's seam or spin bowlers.

This was the revamped Mumbai venue's first World Cup fixture, a dress rehearsal for the guaranteed full house for the final, with the 33,000 seating capacity only about a quarter full and populated mainly by intrigued locals.

Photograph: Getty Images

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