Thatscricket - News - Fit Fleming hopeful of making to final

Published: Monday, July 30, 2001, 3:35 [IST]
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Colombo: Stephen Fleming is back to lead New Zealand in the triangular One-day series match against Sri Lanka on Tuesday after missing two games due a stomach upset."I am definitely playing on Tuesday," the New Zealand captain said on Monday.Craig McMillan led the squad in Fleming's absence, against Sri Lanka on Wednesday and India the following day. Fleming said his team had a very good chance of making it to the August 5 final and was hopeful of achieving his aim with a win against the hosts.New Zealand, which has won two of its four matches, now needs one victory from its last two league games to virtually make sure of a place in the final. Sri Lanka has won three of its four matches and India one."We have a very good chance of qualifying for the final. We can see it going our way," Fleming said. He said Sri Lanka's lone defeat in the tournament had not affected his team's position.India beat Sri Lanka by seven wickets in its fourth game on Saturday to keep alive its hopes of contesting the final. "Sri Lanka's defeat does not affect our chances. It did not bat well against India," he said. "We have been the most consistent batting side in this tournament." New Zealand, the only team to have scored 200 or more in all of its four matches, twice lost to Sri Lanka, by 16 runs and then by five wickets."We should have won both the matches," Fleming said. New Zealand, after scoring a challenging 236 for eight on a slow turning wicket, had reduced the hosts to 27 for four in the second match before losing its way."We could not finish the job in the second game. If we find ourselves in a similar situation, the result will be different this time," he said. While New Zealand is one victory short of its objective, Sri Lanka has almost achieved its. "When the tournament started our aim was to reach the final," said Sri Lankan coach Dav Whatmore."We just had one bad game (against India), but we have won three and have six points on the board." The teams: New Zealand: Stephen Fleming (captain), Nathan Astle, Grant Bradburn, James Franklin, Chris Harris, Craig McMillan, Kyle Mills, Dion Nash, Jacob Oram, Adam Parore, Matthew Sinclair, Darryl Tuffey, Daniel Vettori and Lou Vincent.Sri Lanka: Sanath Jayasuriya (captain), Romesh Kaluwitharana, Marvan Atapattu, Mahela Jayawardene, Russel Arnold, Avishka Gunawardene, Chaminda Vaas, Chamara Silva, Muthiah Muralitharan, Kumar Dharmasena, Suresh Perera, Dilhara Fernando, Dulip Liyanage, Kumar Sangakkara and Dinusha Fernando.

Copyright AFP 2001


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