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Bangladesh v New Zealand
Antigua, 2 April 2007

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Stephen Fleming
To restrict them to 174 was a very good effort

Stephen Fleming
Captain and centurion Stephen Fleming praised New Zealand's bowlers after their nine-wicket win over Bangladesh.

He said: "We lost two of our main strike bowlers, Michael Mason and James Franklin, to injury but to restrict them to 174 was a very good effort.

"Shane Bond got wickets, Jacob Oram picked up the slack at the top of the order, and Scott Styris bowled very well in the middle overs.

"It was nice to get into the position where we could think about run rate."

He also felt that their warm-up defeat by Bangladesh in early March served as a wake-up call for his side.

"We learned a lesson in the warm-up games when Bangladesh rolled us over and if anything that set us up for the tournament," said Fleming.

"Playing them today, we were a lot more familiar with how they would attack us.

"Part of the reason for bowling first was we were not as convinced they can set a score as well as they can chase.

"That was probably evident in some of the shots they played and the pressure we were able to create.

The challenge for me is to keep this form going until the end of the competition

Pace bowler Shane Bond
"It was a good reflection of how the guys are in form and how the team is reacting to adversity in a way."

Fleming and Hamish Marshall's unbroken second-wicket stand of 134 was also a boost to their net run-rate.

"At this stage we are not sure how important run rate will be in qualification for the semi-finals," Fleming conceded.

"But if things don't go well for us in the next couple of weeks, then fourth and fifth place could be determined by that."

Paceman Bond, who took a miserly 2-15 off his 10-over spell, was chosen as man of the match - ahead of the claims of Styris, who took 4-43, and Fleming who hit an unbeaten hundred.

Bond added: "The challenge for me is to keep this form going until the end of the competition.

"The bowling unit as a whole is doing a good job, so that makes it easier for me.

"On these sorts of wickets I need to keep putting the ball in the right areas, but I feel that I've done that."


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