Cricket: West Indies under Sinclair's hammer

New Zealand 263-3 v West Indies
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MATHEW SINCLAIR made the perfect start to his Test career with an unbeaten 123 to put New Zealand in control of the second and final Test against West Indies here yesterday.

Sinclair, batting at No 3, steered New Zealand to 263 for 3 at the close of the first day after they were sent in to bat at the Basin Reserve. Brian Lara, the West Indies' captain, must have regretted his decision to field first as his attack bowled too short and failed to take advantage of a green-tinged pitch.

Sinclair, who held centre stage after coming in with the score on 33, said: "I'm ecstatic. It's a great feeling and my heart's still fluttering. I have great self-belief and great pride in my country and getting a century on debut is just fantastic."

Sinclair reached three figures in 215 minutes off 164 balls and hit 11 fours. At the close he had batted 315 minutes, faced 260 balls and struck 12 fours. He shared a third-wicket partnership of 164 with his captain Stephen Fleming, whose innings of 67 ended in the final session when he pulled the left-arm spin of Shivnarine Chanderpaul to Jimmy Adams at square leg.

Sinclair's first scoring shot was a French cut off Franklyn Rose which flew to the fine-leg boundary, but the 24 year old appeared unfazed by that bit of good fortune as he stylish compiled his 100.

Meanwhile, Clive Lloyd, the West Indies' manager, has decided to quit after three years in the job. Lloyd said the team's nine-wicket defeat in the first Test in Hamilton and calls for him to be sacked after a ninth consecutive loss abroad have had no bearing on his decision.

First day of five; West Indies won toss

New Zealand - First Innings

C M Spearman c Walsh b King 24

G R Stead c Campbell b King 17

M S Sinclair not out 123

*S P Fleming c Adams b Chanderpaul 67

N J Astle not out 8

Extras (5b, 11lb, 1w, 7nb) 24

Total (for 3, 91 overs) 263

Fall: 1-33, 2-76, 3-240.

To bat: C D McMillan, C L Cairns, +A C Parore, D J Nash, D L Vettori, S B O'Connor.

Bowling: Walsh 24-4-50-0; King 21-6-68-2; Rose 18-3-62-0; Perry 17-4- 48-0; Adams 8-1-13-0; Chanderpaul 3-0-6-1.

West Indies: *B C Lara, S L Campbell, A F G Griffith, S Chanderpaul, D Ganga, J C Adams, R D Jacobs, N O Perry, F A Rose, R D King, C A Walsh.

Umpires: E A Watkin and R B Tiffin (Zim).