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Fleming slams showing against Bangladesh
February 27, 2003 12:06 IST
New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming thinks his team's rusty performance against Bangladesh on Wednesday was the World Cup wake-up call they needed.
New Zealand won the Group B clash by seven wickets with nearly 17 overs to spare but only after allowing the Bangladeshis to bat through their 50 overs for the first time in the tournament and make a respectable 198 for seven.
"I think we're better off for the run...but for some of the players it will be a bit of a wake-up call in terms of the attitude that was taken into the game," Fleming told a news conference.
"We've got to be more intense," he added. "Just because there wasn't much atmosphere in the middle doesn't mean we take a step backwards, we have to create our own intensity."
New Zealand had not played for 10 days after forfeiting their match in Kenya and the lack of match practice showed as they dropped a number of catches and gave away too many free runs.
"I think we were pretty anxious about the whole day," Fleming said. "Whenever you have a break you lose momentum and there were some signs that we weren't on song so we were pretty glad to win the game and reasonably quickly."
Bangladesh have not won a one-day international in almost four years, losing four matches in the tournament heavily with one abandoned, but Fleming believes they are a better side than those results suggest.
"I thought they played very well, they had a reasonable structure to their innings which we haven't seen for a while," he said.
"They're normally very aggressive with their batting and try and get a few shots away but they played very well and created an opportunity for them at the end to get a few runs.
"They had the ability to hurt us so it's an encouraging sign for them. It just shows you have to be right on the money to do what you want to do."
New Zealand play their final Group B match against Canada in Benoni on Monday needing to win by another huge margin to boost their run-rate and increase their chances of making the Super Sixes.
The Kiwis, who have lost only once but gave up four points by refusing to play in Nairobi, improved their run-rate by wrapping up victory over Bangladesh in the 34th over, but Fleming said he was still wary about trying to do things too quickly.
"We wanted to score as quick as possible without being reckless because the only chance of losing the match was trying to go hard and lose quick wickets," he said.
"I think our situation during the past 10 days created enough of an edge and now that we're at the business end of the tournament and run rate is to be worked on, that's created enough pressure to win well."