New Zealand puts up large total vs West Indies at World Cup

The International Cricket Council will be hoping the semifinals of its showcase World Cup tournament are a bit closer than the quarterfinal results.

The fourth elimination match Saturday was a lot like the first three. Martin Guptill made 237 not out – the highest score by a New Zealander and the second-highest for all nations in one-day internationals – in leading his team to 393-6 as it batted first against the West Indies at Wellington, New Zealand.

The West Indies lost early wickets and were defeated by 143 runs at Wellington, New Zealand in the quadrennial tournament. The unbeaten Kiwi side will play South Africa in the first semifinal next Tuesday in Auckland.

Guptill followed his 105 against Bangladesh eight days ago with New Zealand’s first one-day double century – breaking his own record (189 not out) for New Zealand’s highest score and Chris Gayle’s recent record of 215 for the highest individual score in a World Cup match.

”It’s a pretty cool feeling,” Guptill said. ”Quite a tough pitch to start on, but once you get in runs come fairly easily.”

In the other quarterfinals this past week, South Africa strolled past Sri Lanka by nine wickets, India easily defeated Bangladesh by 109 runs and Australia had little trouble in beating Pakistan by six wickets.

Australia and India will play next Thursday in Sydney in the other semifinal.

The final is scheduled for March 29 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. India is the defending champion while Australia has won the title four times.

Australia traveled to Sydney on Saturday with captain Michael Clarke saying his team was growing in confidence. Australia’s only loss in the pool stage came by one wicket to New Zealand.

”Since the New Zealand game, we have slowly been building in our cricket, slowly been improving,” he said. ”Every win gives you momentum and gives you confidence and this will certainly be exactly the same.”

In Friday’s match at the Adelaide Oval, Shane Watson made the most of a lucky break after Pakistan won the toss and batted but was all out for 213 in the 50th over.

Australia lost early wickets and withstood a torrid spell from Wahab Riaz (2-54) in the middle of the chase, before all-rounder Watson hit the winning runs with a boundary to lift his score to 64 and Australia’s to 216-4 in the 34th over. Riaz was unlucky to have two catches put down, especially Watson on 4.

”If they take that catch at fine leg, who knows what could have happened,” Clarke said. ”It would have been a lot tighter, that is for sure.”

On Saturday, Watson and Wahab were fined 15 and 50 percent of their match fees, respectively, by match referee Ranjan Madugalle for an altercation. Watson was found to have exhibited ”conduct contrary to the spirit of the game,” while Wahab was booked for ”using language or a gesture that is obscene, offensive or insulting.”

Meanwhile, International Cricket Council chief executive David Richardson said the ICC president Mustafa Kamal’s comments about the umpiring after the second quarterfinal between India and Bangladesh was ”unfortunate.” Kamal, who is from Bangladesh, criticized the on-field umpires’ decision to call a no-ball after India batsman Rohit Sharma was caught off a full-toss during the game.

”The ICC has noted Mr. Mustafa Kamal’s comments, which are very unfortunate but made in his personal capacity,” Richardson said. ”As an ICC president, he should have been more considerate in his criticism of ICC match officials, whose integrity cannot be questioned.”