New Zealand skipper Fleming eager for Aussie clash

ST JOHN’S, Antigua, April 3, 2007 (AFP) – New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming cannot wait to play Australia after his side drew level on points with the reigning champions in the second round of the World Cup following a crushing nine-wicket victory against Bangladesh.

“Three in five days (New Zealand play Ireland in Guyana on April 9, Sri Lanka in Grenada on April 12 and South Africa on April 14) is increbibly tough, but if we keep doing the things we’re doing, there’s no reason why that won’t help us in pressure situations.” Both Australia, bidding for an unprecedented third successive World Cup title, and New Zealand have six points after a pair of Super Eights wins plus the two points they each received for beating their fellow qualifiers during the pool phase.

Australia, who top the standings on run-rate, have looked in ominous form during a run of five wins from five games and have yet to be held to a total under 300 in a match at this tournament.

But in February the Black Caps thrashed Australia 3-0 at home during the Chappell-Hadlee series albeit the visitors were without the rested duo of skipper Ricky Ponting and wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist while top-order batsman Michael Clarke had a hip injury.

All three are back in the team now with A