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Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > Reuters > Report

Kiwis itching to take on Bangladesh

February 24, 2003 13:59 IST

New Zealand will be keen to make up for lost time when they meet Bangladesh on Wednesday in a World Cup Group B match that looks likely to be one of the most one-sided of the tournament.

The Kiwis have not played for over a week after forfeiting their game in Kenya because of security concerns, and Stephen Fleming's men are itching to return to action.

"The break has been good for us but we're ready to go again," Fleming told Reuters. "We've had some time to rest and practise some things and really focus on what we need to do."

Having not won a game for four years and with three heavy World Cup defeats to their name already, Bangladesh have little prospect of beating New Zealand who have emerged as one of the favourites after beating the West Indies and South Africa.

"I'm low on morale at the moment -- and most of the guys are low," Bangladesh captain Khaled Mashud said.

"It's mainly because we lost very badly in our first game against Canada. Inshallah (God willing) we'll do well because we have a lot of talent in our side.

"I'm sure that our boys will come back before the end of this tournament."

New Zealand's decision not to go to Kenya cost them a near-certain four points and has left them needing to win their final two games against Bangladesh and Canada to make the Super Sixes.

But even that may not be enough with the possibility that the group could be decided on run-rate, meaning the Kiwis will be chasing a quick kill against Bangladesh who have just two points from their abandoned match against the West Indies.

"This is a very important game, not just because of the four points but also to improve our run-rate because that could be an issue," Fleming said.

"We have to get the balance right. We know we need to improve our run-rate but we don't want to push too hard because that's when you start making mistakes. It's a real fine line."

Fleming believes New Zealand's victory over South Africa, in which he scored a match-winning century, has given the team the confidence to win the tournament.

"It's one thing to think it and even talk about it but it's another thing to feel now and we can definitely feel it and taste it now," he said.

"There's a real conviction in the team now and we're feeling confident."

© Copyright 2003 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.


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