December 26, 2001

Fleming predicts exciting batting from New Zealand tomorrow

New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming is predicting "a very exciting batting day" for his side in their second National Bank Test with Bangladesh at the Basin Reserve in Wellington tomorrow.

New Zealand start the second day 60 runs behind Bangladesh's 132 runs with all wickets intact.

Fleming said he is looking for the side to score at around three and a half runs to four runs tomorrow and the way Mark Richardson and Matt Horne played after getting in tonight, they should be setting the pace.

The side's efforts in winning so much positive praise for their efforts on the recent tour of Australia were rewarded when 6097 Wellingtonians turned out for what was never going to be the most exciting spectacle given the ease with which New Zealand won the first Test.

"It was fantastic. We weren't too sure how many we would get along but it was great. We enjoy playing a Boxing Day Test here."

"It's becoming an occasion," he said.

Fleming said it was great to see cricket getting its share of space in the newspapers after having to share it with other sports so often.

"It's our time of the year," he said.

Fleming also praised the efforts of ground staff, both in Wellington and Hamilton, who have had to cope with dreadful weather in preparing for the two Test matches.

"It had more pace than what I thought it would," he said of the Basin Reserve pitch.

The effort of Daniel Vettori in bowling 22 overs unchanged into the wind was praised by Fleming for him allowing one end to be tied up while he alternated Chris Cairns, Shane Bond and Chris Drum at the other.

"There's no-one who comes near him for doing that and he did the job required," he said.

The New Zealanders had noted a definite change in the Bangladesh tactics but it would be up to them to find their own tempo and manner of scoring in the future. They would find it and be a competitive unit in years to come, but they were still learning.