AUCKLAND, Reuter: Power hitting by Captain Viv Richards carried the West Indies to a five wicket win over Auckland in the opening match of their New Zealand tour.

Chasing an Auckland total of 221 for four, made in a rain curtailed as overs, Richards slammed an unbeaten 54 off 28 balls. His innings included three sixes and six fours.

The onslaught saw the West Indies to victory with seven balls 10 spare after they needed 44 off the last five overs.

Early in the West Indies innings, Auckland, New Zealand’s one-way champions, seemed to ram home the advantage of its sizeable score as opener Gordon Greenidge was bowled off the third ball of the innings.

However, fellow opener Richie Richardson, with 84, kept the innings together until he and Carl Hooper (13) were out to successive balls at 146.

The West Indies’ victory was a morale booster after its recent one day failures in Australia, but there was evidence their bowlers may struggle in New Zealand conditions.

Macolm Marshall showed his experience on the easy paced wicket with three for 41 off 10 overs and off spinner Clyde Butts conceded just 26 runs in his 10over spell.

But the other bowlers, especially pace man Tony Gray, repeatedly bowled too short.

Richard Reid, son of former New Zealand Captain John Reid) top scored for Auckland with 97, off 112 balls.

Article extracted from this publication >>  February 20, 1987