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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 October 2006, 10:04 GMT 11:04 UK
Captains hit out at Mumbai wicket
Graeme Smith (L) and Stephen Fleming
Both Smith and Fleming expressed concern with the wicket at Mumbai
South Africa skipper Graeme Smith and New Zealand counterpart Stephen Fleming have criticised the Mumbai pitch after their Champions Trophy match on Monday.

Smith's side slumped to a 87-run loss after being dismissed for 108 as they chased a total of 195 by the Kiwis.

"In terms of an international tournament I don't think the wicket was of a good standard," said Smith.

And Fleming, who hit 89 off 112 balls, added: "As the tournament progresses, it's going to be tough on the viewers."

Smith was unhappy with conditions at the Brabourne Stadium after seeing his side collapse under the floodlights as the pitch deteriorated.

"It's always tough to sit and moan about a wicket when you've lost but it deteriorated as the day went along," he added.

The pitches are a bit different this time around in India

New Zealand skipper Stephen Fleming

"Batting second was very, very difficult. All credit to Stephen. His knock held their innings together and without him, who knows, we might have been chasing 120-130.

"The pitch broke up, the ball turned a hell of a lot. I don't think the pitches are going to provide a 100 overs of good cricket."

Smith's decision to put New Zealand in when he won the toss came back to haunt him as his side fell apart.

"Both captains were umming and ahhing at the toss, and we took a gamble and decided to bowl," he said.

"Unfortunately it didn't come off, and all credit to New Zealand.

"There wasn't any thing hugely wrong out there, although we can tighten up a bit. We've just got to re-group."
Stephen Fleming
Fleming scored 68 more runs than any other batsman in his team

Fleming, who was named man of the match, admitted he expected the wicket to take turn.

"We went with what we saw, which was a very dry wicket, and as it turned out it got worse," he said.

"The pitches are a bit different this time around in India. I can understand Graeme's complaints.

"But our job is to play on whatever pitches are given to us and play accordingly."

And Fleming was typically modest about his knock.

He said: "It was a bit of a grind. We weren't sure if the dew would play a part, but we knew we'd have to score around the 200-mark.

"Once we saw the ball stopping a bit off the wicket, we realised that we are in with a chance in this game

"When the ball started going through the top we knew it would be tough - but we had to keep taking wickets, and we did.

"If you take wickets at the top, it makes small targets much bigger."



SEE ALSO
Fleming guides Kiwis to victory
16 Oct 06 |  Cricket
Bond will not compromise on speed
10 Oct 06 |  New Zealand
ICC Champions Trophy 2006
11 Oct 06 |  Future tour dates


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