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Australia v New Zealand
Grenada, 20 April 2007

Test Match Special podcast | Blog



By Paresh Soni
BBC Sport in Grenada

Stephen Fleming
Fleming remained upbeat about New Zealand's chances
New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming insists Australia can be stopped from winning a third consecutive World Cup.

The holders thrashed the Kiwis by 215 runs on Friday and have also seen off the other two semi-finalists, Sri Lanka and South Africa, in this tournament.

However, Fleming said: "It's not a foregone conclusion. Australia are playing well and you'd expect them to go in with a lot of confidence.

"They're the most talented side but that doesn't win you World Cups."

He added: "That can easily be whittled away with 10 overs of good cricket from another team or 10 overs of poor cricket from the Australians, and that is now where the excitement in this tournament is.

"What we will try to do if we get through [the semi-final] against Sri Lanka is to use the occasion.

"We've beaten Australia recently, if there's a bit of bounce and seam movement that goes our way then pressure can be created and the pressure of expectation can be very high."

Australia are playing great cricket - they're playing such good cricket that are they going to have a bad day

Stephen Fleming

New Zealand's defeat at the National Stadium was their heaviest ever in one-day internationals.

But Fleming denied suggestions that they will carry mental scars if they meet their trans-Tasman rivals in the final on 28 April.

"We're going to wipe this off. I know there are areas of concern - we weren't accurate with the ball and we lost wickets with the bat," he said.

"But it now comes down to two games and if we analyse it too much we won't look forward to what's coming up - the opportunity to win two games to win the World Cup.

"Australia are playing great cricket - they're playing such good cricket that are they going to have a bad day.

"We're hoping we can get past Sri Lanka and then create a bad day for them in the final."

But Aussie skipper Ricky Ponting laughed off Fleming's claims and believed his side had gained a psychological edge.

"I'd rather be in our room than theirs right at the moment. I'm sure they'll be having all sorts of meetings over the next few days to talk about the game," he said.

"If they don't think that's going to affect them how is any psychological edge ever gained in any game of cricket?

"If we don't take something out of this game then nobody ever can. We've just beaten New Zealand by 215 runs in a World Cup game so they've got a lot of thinking to do."



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