WC 2003 - Fielding was the difference between the sides: Fleming

Published: Friday, February 14, 2003, 4:20 [IST]
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Port Elizabeth: New Zealand skipper Stephen Fleming on Thursday said fielding played a vital role in his team's 20-run win against West Indies in the Pool B World Cup match."It was nice performance by our batsmen and bowlers. We fielded very well too and probably that was the difference between the two sides," Fleming said after the match.Known for setting high standards in the field, the Kiwis' new experiment of "relay-throw" paid rich dividends when star batsman Brian Lara was brilliantly run out for two by the combination of Lou Vincent and Chris Cairns.Lara's dismissal saw a middle-order collapse as West Indies struggled to overtake New Zealand's score of 241.Losing captain Carl Hooper said that though his bowlers did well to restrict the Kiwis to 241, their poor catching cost them the match as Andre Adams, who was dropped in the early part of his innings, plundered an unbeaten 35 off just 24 balls to take his side to a good position. "We did well to restrict them to 241. But still I think they were benefited from Adams' miss," Hooper said."We seemed to be dropping straight forward catches. Adams went on to belt our bowlers after being dropped early."We should have taken the opportunities that came our way. We have to improve in the remaining matches." New Zealand, who lost its opening tie against Sri Lanka on Monday, has now four points from two matches. Other teams in Group B - West Indies, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Canada have also four points in their kitty while minnows Bangladesh and Kenya are yet to open their account.Fleming said New Zealand, who will play its next match against South Africa, will have to play real good cricket to beat the hosts."Our batting has been quite consistent. We are hoping to do well in the match against South Africa which is a big game for us." All-rounder Adams, who was named the man-of-the-match for his brilliance with the bat, ball and in the field, said he likes his bowling most and was happy to claim few wickets against West Indies. "Though I batted okay, I like bowling a lot. It was a nice feeling to be amongst wickets."Besides scoring 35, he claimed four crucial wickets giving away 44 runs and got Nixon Mclean run out for five. PTI

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