We failed to build partnerships, says Fleming

Published: Saturday, October 21, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Mumbai:New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming admitted yesterday that his team fell short by at least 80-100 runs after electing to bat first against Sri Lanka in their Champions Trophy match at the Brabourne stadium here.

Speaking at the post-match press conference, Fleming said that there was some sideway movement present, ''but we failed to construct partnerships and that is where we lost the match''.

Fleming also praised the Lankans, saying they got off to a good start and after that it was always going to be difficult to come back.

On the performance of their bowling spearhead Shane Bond, Fleming said he is just coming out of injury and ''you cannot just except him to have match fitness right away. He is slowly getting into match fitness''.

The Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene praised his bowlers for this victory, saying that the combination of Muralitharan and Jayasuriya ''helped us get back after a lacklustre start. They bowled well in tandem and kept the pressure up on the batsmen''.

The Lankan captain however said that they are still worried over the extras they are conceding. ''I have said this before also and we have been working hard at it, but somehow it all comes undone in a match.'' On their next match against South Africa, which will again be a do or die game for them if they want to reach the semis, Mahela said that the South Africans are a good all round side, but ''if we play good cricket and upto our potential, I am sure we can get the better of them''.

On the form of his batsmen, Mahela said that the wickets provided for the tournament are not 300-plus wickets. ''Therefore, you would not see the hundreds by the batsmen. What we are looking for on such wickets is a good positive start and if we can get that in every match, then I will be a happy man.''


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