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Home > Cricket > The Cup > Reuters > Report

Bond demonstrates his pedigree again in Antigua

John Mehaffey | April 03, 2007 12:01 IST

New Zealand fast bowler Shane Bond demonstrated for the second time in five days on Monday just why he is so essential to his team's World Cup hopes.

Bond, who has missed more of New Zealand's matches since making his debut in 2001 than he played through a series of injuries, followed his three for 31 against West Indies on Thursday with two for 15 against Bangladesh.

Significantly, he bowled equally well on different surfaces, helping restrict West Indies to 177 and Bangladesh to 174.

Bowling on a wicket freshened by rain against West Indies, Bond obtained lavish away swing to the left-handed openers Chris Gayle and Shivnarine Chanderpaul and touched speeds in excess of 150 kms (90 miles) an hour.

On Monday after the sun had baked the square dry, there was little movement through the air and no life in the pitch.

Bond varied his pace and threw in slower deliveries but was still able to produce deliveries swift enough to clean bowl Saqibul Hassan and Mushfiqur Rahim in a double-wicket maiden.

"He's bowling well at the top, there's no doubt about that," captain Stephen Fleming told a news conference after New Zealand's nine-wicket win.

"The second spell when I throw him the ball to get a wicket has been key to us keeping teams down to a low score. The changes of pace, a little bit of reverse swing today, the length that he is hitting makes captaincy during that period very easy."

Bond, 31, who was the fastest in history to reach 100 one-day wickets despite career-threatening injuries to his back and knees, said he had always wanted to be the world's top fast bowler.

"It's something that has driven me since my first series in Australia, it's always been my goal to be the number one bowler in the world," he said. "The hardest thing is that the wickets are so different.

"It's just about assessing and adjusting to those conditions and bowling well. If you are bowling consistently in the right areas you are going to have success."

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