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Page last updated at 19:15 GMT, Friday, 21 March 2008

Fleming targets victorious finale

Stephen Fleming
Fleming will be playing in his 111th Test match in Napier

Stephen Fleming is aiming to make a big score to help New Zealand secure a series-clinching win against England in his final Test match.

The former skipper hopes to score a 10th Test century in the deciding match in Napier, in what will be his last match before quitting internationals.

The 34-year-old will also seek to finish with a Test average over 40.

"I'd love to finish with a substantial score to put us in a position to win the series," said Fleming.

But New Zealand's most successful captain and highest run scorer said statistics were not the most important thing to him.

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"I will have a lot of regrets, but most of them are statistical and they don't really mean anything," he said.

"You can bust your gut and get wound up about statistical goals that you deem are important but I don't think they are.

"I've not tried to be the player that achieves statistically great things. It's probably left me a bit short, but at times it has given me great exhilaration and great reward."

Fleming, who made his New Zealand debut in 1994, will be playing in his 111th Test match and currently averages 39.81 with the bat, having also hit 44 half centuries in more than 7,000 runs.

He needs a further 113 runs if he is out twice, or 73 if dismissed once, to finish with an average over 40 - the statistical measure of a good Test batsman.

We're always looked upon as a side as being dangerous but we've had that for too long. We now compete with most teams in the world

Stephen Fleming

The left-handed batsman, who also had a distinguished spell in English cricket with Nottinghamshire, was widely regarded as the best captain in world cricket throughout his 10-year spell in charge.

New Zealand won 28 of his 80 Tests, despite being without star paceman Shane Bond for long periods, and he led the Kiwis to their second series win in England in 1999, something he describes as a defining moment.

"That was the point where we realised that we could compete, particularly overseas. We had been a spasmodic side and to win that series put us on a nice track," he said.

"It was certainly the most enjoyable period I had because the belief for the first time was there in the side.

"We're always looked upon as a side as being dangerous but we've had that for too long. We now compete with most teams in the world."


see also
Fleming to end New Zealand career
14 Feb 08 |  New Zealand
Fleming a tough act to follow
12 Sep 07 |  New Zealand
Fleming set for Notts departure
05 Sep 07 |  Nottinghamshire
England in New Zealand 2008
16 Mar 08 |  Cricket


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