Nicholls, Astle set West Indies 326-run target


Christchurch (New Zealand) (AFP)

Henry Nicholls and Todd Astle led New Zealand to a comprehensive 325 for six batting first against the West Indies in the second one-day international in Christchurch on Saturday.

The pair put on 130 for the sixth wicket with Nicholls unbeaten on 83 while Astle, in only his second ODI, was out in the final over for 49.

George Worker and Ross Taylor also chimed in with half-centuries to propel New Zealand into solid position in a match the West Indies need to win to keep the series alive.

New Zealand won the first of three ODIs by five wickets on Wednesday.

Worker and Colin Munro gave New Zealand a flying start, reaching 50 in the seventh over before Sheldon Cottrell struck.

He removed Munro (30) and Neil Broom (six) in quick succession before Worker and Ross Taylor steadied the innings with a 58-run partnership at better than a run-a-ball pace.

Worker, who was dropped on seven by wicketkeeper Shai Hope, reached his second consecutive half-century against the West Indies and a personal best 58 before he fell to Ronsford Beaton.

West Indies captain Jason Holder reduced New Zealand to 186 for five when he removed Tom Latham and Taylor in the space of 11 balls, leaving Nicholls and Astle to rebuild the innings.

After a slow start, the pair launched into their work in the last 10 overs when New Zealand added 103 runs.

Nicholls' 83 came off 62 balls and included two sixes and seven fours, while Astle faced 45 deliveries for his 49 but only reached the boundary three times.

For the West Indies, Sheldon Cottrell took three for 62.