Kiwis return to work after night club brawl

Published: Tuesday, February 25, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
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Kimberley: New Zealand resume its World Cup campaign on Wednesday against Bangladesh after enduring an embarrassing break from action that involved a brawl in a night club.

Eight days after defeating co-hosts South Africa in Johannesburg, Stephen Fleming's men get down to business in a mad scramble to make the Super Sixes from group 'B'. Kenya's shock win over Sri Lanka earlier on Monday further complicated the race, leaving New Zealand to win both its remaining matches against Bangladesh and Canada to stay in contention. "This is a very important game," Fleming said. "The long break has been good for us but we are leaving nothing to chance because we need to improve our run-rate besides putting four more points on the board." An incident in a Durban nightclub last week left all-rounder Chris Cairns with cuts and bruises to his face on the day the Kiwis were supposed to be playing Kenya in Nairobi but boycotted the game due to security concerns. Cairns is expected to be fit to play and Fleming insisted his team had got over the incident. "Whatever happened off the field is behind us and we are focussed for our last two games," he said, adding the win over South Africa was just the morale booster his team needed. "We're feeling confident and convinced that we can come out of the first round well," said the New Zealand captain, who smashed a match-winning century against Shaun Pollock's home team. The Black Caps, who lost to Sri Lanka in their first game but defeated the West Indies, have relatively easier outings against the weakest teams in the group. They must, however, hope Sri Lanka lose to both West Indies and South Africa to allow them to carry extra points in the Super Sixes. Bangladesh, meanwhile, is determined to put up a better show after losing three games while the fourth against the West Indies was washed out. "It has been a disappointing show by our team but I hope the boys pull up their socks and end the tournament on a high note," captain Khaled Mashud said. "We know we hardly have a chance against New Zealand but we must fight all the way." Copyright AFP 2001

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