Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Clippings: Fleming hammers ton as Bangladesh surrender

St John's, Antigua
New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming hit an unbeaten century Monday to lead his team to a nine-wicket win over Bangladesh in a World Cup Super 8s match.
New Zealand dismissed Bangladesh for 174 before Fleming hit 102 and Hamish Marshall reached 50 not out to take the Kiwis to 178-1 and victory with almost 21 overs left.
Marshall finished the match at Antigua's Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground with a six that brought up his 12th half-century.
The result moved New Zealand to within touching distance of a semifinal appearance and means Bangladesh's third World Cup appearance is set to finish at the Super 8s stage.
Scott Styris earlier took four wickets for 43 runs. Jacob Oram picked up three wickets and Shane Bond two in a good bowling performance hit by the loss of opening paceman Michael Mason. Mason hurt his calf, two days after Australia's Shane Watson and Bangladesh's Tapash Baisya did likewise at the same stadium.
New Zealand opener Peter Fulton, who continued as opener after being promoted up the order to replace the injured Lou Vincent, was caught by Tamim Iqbal off Syed Russel for 15.
It was to be Bangladesh's only success in the field as Fleming went on to make his eighth one-day century.
Marshall had two escapes. He was a yard short running to the striker's end and would have been run out to a direct hit but the ball went just wide. He was nearly caught trying to lift the ball over mid on.
With his hundred and the winning total in sight, Fleming hit the gas and smashed successive sixes to up the scoring rate and again expose Bangladesh's shallow bowling attack.
He reached his 90-ball ton with a four, the 10th of his innings, and Marshall finished it in the next over.
New Zealand never looked like failing in its chase for a second straight second-round victory. The Kiwis have shown themselves adept at chasing totals this year, reaching the second- and third-highest winning totals from batting second in victories over Australia in February.
They also beat West Indies here by seven wickets on Thursday, passing a target of 178 with more than 10 overs left.
Bangladesh, which was crushed by 10 wickets by Australia in Saturday's rain-shortened match at the same stadium, only got a respectable total after a last-wicket stand of 34 between Mohammad Rafique, who top-scored with 30 not out, and Russel.
Until then, the team had been floundering at 140-9 after losing five wickets for 14 runs.
Fleming won the toss and elected to bowl first, hoping to take advantage of a wicket that so far this tournament has offered some early assistance to bowlers before drying out into a true batting track.
Openers Javed Omar and Tamim Iqbal had started to hit out when Oram got the breakthrough.
Iqbal played and missed with a wild swipe at a ball going well down leg side and McCullum gathered to stump him as he desperately stretched back with his bat.
That made it 55-1 and it was 62-2 shortly after when McCullum caught a snick from Omar off the bowling of Oram.
Aftab Ahmed and Saqibul Hasan shared a third-wicket stand of 41 that was highlighted by Hasan shoveling the ball back over his head for four. But Ahmed was caught for 27 by substitute fielder Mark Gillespie off the bowling of Styris.
Captain Habibul Bashar's run out then sparked a collapse. Bond knocked over Saqibul Hasan's middle stump to make it 127-5 and then bowled Mushfiqur Rahim for nought.
Styris bowled Mohammad Ashraful and, although Rafique delayed the inevitable, the same player then bowled Mashrafee Mortaza and had Abdur Razzak caught by Gillespie.
The final partnership was broken when Oram bowled Rasel for 10.

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