Cricket: Lara lays down law to `gutless' W Indies

West Indies 365 & 97 New Zealand 393 & 70-1 New Zealand win by 9 wkts
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The Independent Online
BRIAN LARA, the captain of the West Indies, criticised his team for their lack of "guts" after New Zealand won the first Test by nine wickets here yesterday. It was New Zealand's first victory over the tourists since the third Test at Christchurch in 1987 and only their fifth in 29 matches.

The West Indies' humiliating defeat came despite completely dominating the first day, scoring 282 for the loss of just one wicket. Sherwin Campbell (170) and Adrian Griffith (103 not out) fashioning a record-breaking opening partnership.

"I take full responsibility for defeat," Lara said. "After that first day we were too complacent on the second day and let them back into the match. We took things for granted. New Zealand took their opportunities and fully deserve their victory. We had no guts, but some day soon that is going to stop and I think Wellington's the best place to start." The second Test of the two-match series starts there on Boxing Day.

Lara did not spare himself. He was out to a loose shot after hitting a quick 24 in the first innings and was out to a wild slash outside off stump in the second. "I am the first to admit that the shots I went out to were a little irresponsible and I'm obviously very disappointed with that," he said.

Set 70 to win, after bowling the West Indies out for just 97 in their second innings, New Zealand cruised to a comfortable victory. They lost only Gary Stead, who became Courtney Walsh's 426th Test victim, when they needed just 11 for victory.

Matt Horne had retired hurt with the score on 16 when he got rapped on the finger by a Franklyn Rose delivery. He is likely to miss the second Test. Craig Spearman (30) and Nathan Astle (7) saw New Zealand home, with Astle scoring the winning run early in the afternoon session.

A devastating spell of bowling from Chris Cairns, named man of the match, ripped through the West Indies' batting and they were all out for 97 after starting the day on 66 for 4. Cairns took 7 for 27 in the innings, his best in Tests, and 10 wickets for 100 runs in the match. With his father Lance, the two Cairns became the first father and son pair to take 10 wickets in Test history.

Stephen Fleming, the New Zealand captain, suffering from a stomach virus, did not take the field but arrived at the ground just before the West Indies were all out. "I watched a few wickets on television and I felt like I was missing out, so I came down here pretty smartly," Fleming said.

The Kiwis' captain said his side's victory was earned by taking the "huge opportunity" to improve after New Zealand's dismal first day. "We began to get a chance during the second day and we've begun to show that when we're given a sniff of victory we do very well. We got the opportunity here and we put it away."

FInal day; West Indies won toss

WEST INDIES - First Innings 365 (S L Campbell 170, A F G Griffith 114; D L Vettori 4-83).

NEW ZEALAND - First Innings 393 (C L Cairns 72, S P Fleming, C D McMillan; R D King 4-81).

WEST INDIES - Second Innings

(Overnight: 66 for 4)

A F G Griffith c Parore b Cairns 18

J C Adams c Sub b Cairns 25

+R D Jacobs run out 2

F A Rose lbw b Cairns 3

D Ramnarine c & b Cairns 0

R D King lbw b Cairns 0

C A Walsh not out 5

Extras (7b, 3lb, 3nb) 13

Total (53.5 overs) 97

Fall (cont): 5-78, 6-85, 7-90, 8-90, 9-90.

Bowling: Vettori 22-12-20-1; Cairns 22.5-10-27-7; Nash 7-1-37-1; Wiseman 2-0-3-0.

NEW ZEALAND - Second Innings

G R Stead b Walsh 16

M J Horne retired hurt 5

C M Spearman not out 30

N J Astle not out 7

Extras (4b, 1lb, 7nb) 12

Total (for 1, 15 overs) 70

Fall: 1-59.

Did not bat: *S P Fleming, C D McMillan, C L Cairns, A C Parore, D J Nash, D L Vettori, P J Wiseman.

Bowling: Walsh 8-1-33-1; Rose 6-0-28-0; Ramnarine 1-0-4-0.

Umpires: D B Cowie and D R Shepherd (Eng).