Feast of runs is served up in the Eights

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The Super Eights tournament, an experiment with two-hour games, began in Kuala Lumpur yesterday with a total of 846 runs from three matches.

Nathan Astle hit 53 off just 18 balls to give New Zealand a total of 162 and an unexpected six-wicket victory over Australia. Australia A defeated India by 33 runs as Matthew Hayden made an unbeaten 66 off 24 balls, while an Invitation XI led by the former Australian captain Allan Border lost to South Africa by seven wickets.

In Eights, the brainchild of former Australian Test player Greg Chappell, a team of eight players faces 14 overs, and a ball hit over the boundary yields eight runs instead of six. Every player except the wicketkeeper must bowl at least one over. A batsman must retire if he scores 50, but he can return to the crease if all the other batsmen have been dismissed.