It was a disastrous display by Kiwis: Fleming

Published: Saturday, April 21, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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St.George's, Grenada:A crestfallen New Zealand skipper Stephen Fleming said his team's showing against Australia in their last Super Eight league match of the World Cup was nothing short of an unmitigated disaster.

''We were totally outplayed in all departments of the game,'' Fleming candidly admitted to the media persons after the match.

''To beat Australia you have to be there for 100 overs and we were there for ten really.'' Chasing a mammoth 349 to win, New Zealand slumped to their biggest one-day defeat against the Aussies, getting bowled out for just 133 in 25.5 overs.

He frankly accepted that this was probably their worst performance. ''Whether that was because of the dead nature of the game, I don't know. It was bad day for us.''

The Kiwi skipper stated that the New Zealand team was over enthusiastic to play against the Australians which resulted in a bad performance. ''We were keen to play well and go into the semi-finals with a bit of confidence,'' he said, but hastened to add that ''this (defeat) has not dented our confidence that much but was a tough day for us.''

He tried to rationalize the defeat against the mighty Australians saying, ''We were a little bit off today. We lost Shane (Bond) this morning and that probably set us back a bit.

We lost our accuracy with the ball and when you're chasing 350 you've got your work cut out. We chased a couple of those in New Zealand but not today.''

About their semi-finals opponent, the Sri Lankans, Fleming said ''We have eye on the game (semi-final) anyway and you've got to be up for a game against Australia to be able to compete with them.'' He said ''We want to improve our accuracy with the ball. We want to restrict sides to 300 at most and then when you are chasing a big score you've got to get off to a positive start and not lose wickets. Today we did neither of those. We gave Australia opportunities to take wickets throughout. We placed ourselves under pressure with the ball and came up well and truly short''.

Fleming further added ''We competed well with them (Australia) back home and that was when we were at our best. Hopefully we'll get one more opportunity, depending on the Australia/South Africa semi-final. If we do get that opportunity I'm sure we'll put in a better performance.''


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