Cricket: Extent of Mills injury unknown

New Zealand's injury list got a little bit longer with pace bowler Kyle Mills hobbling off with a strained left thigh after collecting two wickets in the 97-run cricket World Cup win over Canada at Mumbai, India, last night.

Captain Daniel Vettori was already sidelined after injuring his right knee attempting a catch in the 110-run win over Pakistan last Tuesday, although he is expected to be fit for New Zealand's last Group A match against Sri Lanka on Friday.

A New Zealand team spokesman said Mills injured his upper left leg bowling his second over and it did not improve when he bowled his third, so he left the field immediately. He had taken two for 2 from 2.4 overs.

Mills would be assessed over the next 48 hours before team management made any judgment on his fitness, the spokesman said.

Century-making wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum was limping toward the end of yesterday's match, but he said there were no major concerns.

"The knee is fine, thanks," McCullum told reporters.

"It was hot out there. A good test of your mental capacities. I was pleased I managed to get through and managed to do a reasonable job with the gloves, too. You try and bank that good experience and call on it next time you face extreme conditions as well.''

McCullum was at the crease for 37 overs in scoring 101 as New Zealand posted 358 for six, then spent 50 overs keeping wickets as Canada's chase ended on 261 for nine in hot conditions at Wankhede Stadium.

The win, which guaranteed New Zealand would qualify for the quarterfinals, was set up on the back of Brendon McCullum's third one-day international century and Ross Taylor's destructive hitting, the stand-in captain smashing 74 from just 44 balls.

McCullum was composed during his innings of 101, opting for restraint rather than all-out attack, but still managed 12 boundaries and two sixes.

His dismissal, four balls after New Zealand took their batting power play at the start of the 37th over, threatened to stymie the accumulation of runs, but Taylor, fresh from his unbeaten 131 against Pakistan, launched another display of power hitting, to make the most of the fielding restrictions.

Kane Williamson added an unbeaten 34 but the fireworks came from Styris (35) and James Franklin (31 not out) as New Zealand put on 120 in the final 10 overs.

Styris bludgeoned two sixes and three fours in his 20-ball stay, while Franklin stroked three sixes and two fours from a final over which cost 31 runs.

Mills had grabbed two wickets in his 16 deliveries to reduce Canada to four for two, but any thoughts of an early finish were dashed by Canada skipper Ahish Bagai who made an accomplished 84 before a combination of cramp and Nathan McCullum got the better of him.

He shared a 125-run stand for the fourth wicket with Jimmy Hansra (70 not out), but both were hobbled by cramp in the latter part of their innings prompting numerous visits to the middle from support staff and the eventual retirement of Hansra when on 53. He returned in the 46th over, but by that time the match was effectively over.

But New Zealand's bowlers got a decent workout, led by Jacob Oram who took three for 47, while Tim Southee and Scott Styris offered good support.

New Zealand

M Guptill c Bagai b Baidan 17
B McCullum c Gunasekera b Baidwan 101
J Ryder c Osinde b Davison 38
R Taylor c Hansra b Balaji Rao 74
N MCullum c & b Balaji Rao 10
K Williamson not out 34
S Styris c Davison b Baidwan 35
J Franklin not out 31

Extras (2b, 3lb, 11w, 2nb) 17
Total: (for 6 wkts, 50 overs) 358
Fall: 53 (Guptill), 149 (Ryder), 185 (B McCullum), 254 (Taylor), 259 (N McCullum), 318 (Styris).
Bowling: K Chohan 7-0-40-0 (3w), H Osinde 7-0-52-0 (2w), H Baidwan 9.1-0-84-3 (1w), R Cheema 4.5-0-64-0 (2nb), W Balaji Rao 10-0-62-2 (1w), J Davison 10-1-30-1, A Hansra 2-0-21-0.

Canada

R Gunasekera c Taylor b Mills 2
H Patel c B McCullum b Oram 31
Z Surkari c Taylor b Mills 1
A Bagai c B McCullum b N McCullum 84
A Hansra not out 70
R Cheema c B McCullum b Oram 2
J Davison run out 15
W Balaji Rao c N McCullum b Oram 9
H Baidwan c Franklin b Southee 8
K Chohan c Taylor b Ryder 22
H Osinde not out 0

Extras (5b, 2lb, 9w, 1nb) 17
Total (for 9 wkts, 50 overs) 261
Hall: 2 (Gunasekera), 4 (Surkari), 50 (Patel), 175 (Bagai), 179 (Cheema), 205 (Balaji Rao), 213 (Davison), 222 (Baidwan), 261 (Chohan).
Bowling: K Mills 2.4-1-2-2, T Southee 10-1-36-1, J Ryder 1.2-0-15-1 (1w), J Oram 10-3-47-3, J Franklin 4-0-31-0 (1nb), N McCullum 8-0-56-1, S Styris 10-0-41-0 (1w), K Williamson 4-0-26-0
Result: New Zealand won by 97 runs.

- NZPA

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