Wednesday, 25 April 2007

Black Caps out of World Cup; Fleming Quits

The Black Caps have been bundled out of the Cricket World Cup, after crashing to an 81-run loss against Sri Lanka. It was their second defeat at the hands of Sri Lanka at the tournament, after losing to them by six wickets in the second round.

Sri Lanka elected to bat first in the first semi-final in Jamaica. Captain Mahela Jayawardene led from the front, scoring an unbeaten 115 (his 9th one day hundred) as his team smashed 100 runs in their final 10 overs to make 289.

That target proved too tough for the Black Caps, who failed to bat out their overs, collapsing all out for just 208 in the 42nd over. Captain Stephen Fleming, Jacob Oram, Brendon McCullum, Ross Taylor, and Daniel Vettori all failed to make it into double figures.

The lads have had a great run at this tournament, but unfortunately Sri Lanka's spin attack (led by Muttiah Muralitharan) ended New Zealand's dream of booking their first ever Cricket World Cup finals berth.

After the match, Stephen Fleming announced he was stepping down as captain of New Zealand's one-day side... although he's keen to continue playing, and to captain the test side. Daniel Vettori is the most likely replacement as one-day captain.

The crushing result may make it more difficult for Coach John Bracewell to keep his job. It's believed he's keen to continue the job he's had for the last four years, but there may be pressure now to inject some fresh blood into the coaching regime.

Meanwhile the World Cup goes on, with Australia and South Africa playing off for the other semi-final spot tomorrow. Go the yarpies ;-)

* Stuff: Black Caps bashed in World Cup semi
* Stuff: NZ's semifinal curse continues in Caribbean
* NZ Herald: Fleming stands down as skipper

* UPDATE: Cactus Kate blames Aliens for loss ;-) "Aliens gave Craig McMillan, the fattest Black Cap a strained stomach muscle. He doesn't have any muscles in his stomach". Ouch, too harsh on Dave's favourite player!

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