Indians in Kiwiland - Sehwag's brilliant knock had us worried says Fleming

Published: Friday, February 14, 2003, 22:27 [IST]
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Napier: New Zealand skipper Stephen Fleming conceded on Sunday his team was worried when Indian opener Virender Sehwag was on fire during a stroke-filled century in the second One-day International.Sehwag posed the main threat to New Zealand's total of 254 for 9 with a 119-ball 108, cracking two sixes and nine fours in his fourth hundred in One-dayers.The aggressive opener put on 78 for the fifth wicket with Mohammad Kaif (24), but India was still all out for 219 to lose the match by 35 runs and trail 2-0 in the seven-match series."We were a bit worried when they (Sehwag and Kaif) were batting," said Fleming."They are very talented stroke-makers. We finally saw today what they are capable of. We have known that all along. We saw one of them fire today, but it was still a good win."Fleming was all praise for Mathew Sinclair (78) and opener Nathan Astle (76), who were involved in a 136-run stand which was two short of New Zealand's highest for the second wicket against India."We could have asked for more, but the groundwork was done very well with the partnership at the top," said Fleming."The running between wickets was outstanding and the basics were done very well. That's the area we outscored India the most."This was the first time both the teams had crossed the 200-mark after a low-scoring two-Test series and the first One-dayer on seamer-friendly pitches."It was a very good game of cricket," said Fleming. "It was a good wicket which brought smiles back on the batsmen's faces. We saw some very good shot-making."The guys played very well and enjoyed the challenge today. I am very pleased with our fielding performance."Indians, however, had little to cheer about their fielding as they fumbled on several occasions to concede extra runs."We need to be more accurate with our ground fielding," said Indian coach John Wright. "It cost us runs. We could not get through the overs. It was some carelessness really and we are playing below our potential."India was penalised two overs for its slow over-rate."The team's performance has been surprising," said Wright. "It's puzzling and I'm trying to work it out. This is not the team that performed pretty consistently for a period of 8-10 months. "I think we really have not played with hunger and intensity displayed earlier in the year. We have not got that attitude back. If we start having a couple of losses then the confidence can go."
Copyright AFP 2001

Sehwag's ton in vain, Indians lose by 35 runs
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