Fulton, Vettori star in big Kiwi victory

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, April 9, 2007 (AFP) – Peter Fulton hit a solid 83 as New Zealand boosted their chances of qualifying for the World Cup semi-finals with an emphatic 129-run win over Ireland in a Super Eights match here on Monday.

The opener’s sixth half-century and a rollicking 71-run stand for the eighth wicket between Brendon McCullum and James Franklin helped New Zealand reach a challenging 263-8.

Left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori bagged four wickets as New Zealand dismissed debutants Ireland for 134 to post their sixth successive win in the tournament, including three in the first round.

Defending champions Australia and New Zealand are the only unbeaten sides with eight points from four matches. They are followed by Sri Lanka (6/4), South Africa (4/4), England (2/4), the West Indies (2/4) and Bangladesh (2/4).

“Fulton’s innings was important because things were not going too well around him. I guess his 83 held things together and we were able to post a competitive score once we got some hitting at the end,” said New Zealand skipper Stephen Fleming.

“Ireland did exactly what we thought they would do. They put pressure on us and we weren’t good enough to get partnerships in the middle.

“He (Vettori