Shamik Das

Monday, April 02, 2007

Bond silences Tigers with lethal early spell

Brendon McCullum, Shane Bond and Jacob Oram celebrate another Bangladeshi wicket

Antigua, World Cup, Super Eights: New Zealand 178/1 (29.2 overs) beat Bangladesh 174 (48.3 overs) by nine wickets

Shane Bond produced another devastating spell of new-ball bowling today to all but guarantee New Zealand a place in the last four.

Bond's figures of 10-4-15-2 earnt him the man of the match award as for the fourth time this tournament New Zealand's premier strike bowler blew away the opposition batsmen with ease.

It's not only the paceman's wickets (8 at an average of 10.5) that impress but his economy rate - which at less than 2.3 runs an over is one of the best in the World Cup - as his captain Stephen Fleming was only too happy to point out.

"When I throw him the ball to get a wicket he delivers most times, and that has been key to keeping teams down to low scores," said Fleming.

"The way he's been doing it is with subtlety, changes of pace and a little reverse swing, and the length that he's hitting is top-class.

"It makes captaincy during that period very easy."

New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming slaps a six high over midwicket on his way to a second World Cup century    Stephen Fleming raises his bat upon reaching three figures

After Bond, Jacob Oram (3-30) and Scott Styris (4-43) had restricted Bangladesh to 174, Fleming (102*) and Hamish Marshall (50*) guided the Black Caps to victory with more than 20 overs to spare.

And as Fleming intimated afterwards, the speed with which the Kiwis chased down their target could yet prove crucial in the final shake up.

He added: "We were just looking at every opportunity to get across the line as quickly as possible because in the long run it could be very important in deciding on fourth and fifth spot.

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

"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."


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