Fleming seeks improvement

Stephen Fleming is refusing to let the BLACKCAPS rest on their laurels ahead of the second National Bank Series One-Day International against the West Indies in Queenstown.

The BLACKCAPS completed an 81-run win over the tourists in Wellington, on the back of their dramatic Twenty20 bowl-off in Auckland.

However, the skipper, who hit 55 in the capital, insists there is much to improve on in terms of fielding.

He told BLACKCAPS.co.nz columnist Gavin Larsen on Sky Sports: “We were a bit lazy at times and just coasted through in the periods when we were under pressure. We want to do better than that.

“We’ve got people in our personnel who will push us and ask for a little bit more. But all in all it was pretty good.”

Fleming was happier with the bowling and the ultimately decisive opening partnership of Nathan Astle and Jamie How.

“The lines we bowled were very good. It was a good start and the spinners, once again at this stadium, bowled well,” he added.

“It’s very important to start the series well. We stressed that before the Twenty20 and to have a good result was very good.

“A great opening partnership always gives you confidence for the batsmen coming in and we thought anything over 250 was going to be tough.”

Astle made a valuable contribution at the crease with his 90, as part of the BLACKCAPS’ 288 for nine.

His first-wicket stand of 136 with How, who made 66, was a BLACKCAPS record against the West Indies.

Astle, whose 153 stand with Mathew Sinclair against Zimbabwe at the same ground in 2001 remains a the team’s first-wicket record on home soil, said: It was a nice opening partnership, Jamie and myself and we wanted to get off to a good start to set a platform for later on in the innings.

“We were taking it a bit slower but I think we paced it pretty well and kept our heads out there, no wahoos or silly shots. We played well and got a good base and the guys carried on from there.

“Jamie batted well. We actually had to toss a coin to see who faced, because we both like doing that. He lost, obviously, but he did play well he paced his innings very, very well.”

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