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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 February 2007, 11:54 GMT
NZ dejected after Brisbane defeat
Stephen Fleming
New Zealand skipper Stephen Fleming puts away a short ball
New Zealand were left to ponder where it all went wrong after a 14-run defeat by England cost them a place in the Commonwealth Bank series finals.

They were favourites at 203-3 in reply to England's score of 270-7, but could not maintain their momentum.

"We had our opportunity and basically let the game slip away," pace bowler Shane Bond commented.

"It was a very good batting wicket and if we kept wickets in hand we thought we'd cruise home, but we just stalled."

Skipper Stephen Fleming hit 106, but was unable to prevent his side falling further and further behind the required rate and when he was eighth man out in the 47th over with the total on 232, if was effectively the end of the contest.

"They bowled well, you've got to give them credit. It's always difficult for a new player to come out and try to hit the ball over the rope.

"Flem was established but he's not one of our bigger hitters and the guys around him just never got going, which was disappointing" said Bond.

Shane Bond celebrates after cleaning up England's captain
Shane Bond celebrates after cleaning up England's captain

"The start we got, and the way we were going about it, it looked like we were going to cruise home but a combination of some good bowling by England, a run out and a couple of other key moments cost us the game."

Fleming was unhappy that his side had not "nailed the game".

He said: "It's not often you get a hundred and come up short so I am pretty disappointed. We are not icing the cake - we should have won this game at a canter two or three down.

"We gave them opportunities and England were good enough to take them. Respect to them because at the end of the tour it could be easy for them to fold but they steeled up pretty well."

Bond's return to form with the ball was one bonus for New Zealand and his figures of 4-46 included a perfect inswinging yorker which bowled Michael Vaughan for a duck.

"My back has been 100% in the last couple of games. It would have been nice to keep going and go through the final series.

"The more I play, the stronger I'll get and the more sustained and quick I'll bowl," he said.

The Kiwis now head home for the Hadlee-Chappell series against Australia, which begins on 16 February, and will be looking for an upturn in form before heading to the World Cup in the Caribbean where they face a re-match with England in St Lucia.

"We're disappointed - but if you look at the game, I don't think we played badly at all but we've just fallen short.

"I think we've made improvements on the tour, the batting is starting to click now and we've got everybody scoring runs, so even though we haven't made the finals here the guys are upbeat about the cricket coming up," Bond added.

SEE ALSO
England revival delights Vaughan
06 Feb 07 |  England
England v NZ photos
06 Feb 07 |  Cricket
Commonwealth Bank Series 2006/07
10 Jan 07 |  England


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