Lou Vincent, who ended a run of noughts at the World Cup with 101 in New Zealand's comfortable win over Canada, has thanked his wife for making the difference.
Vincent rediscovered his touch with an entertaining century in New Zealand's final league match at St Lucia. Asked what had changed on Thursday, Vincent replied: "My wife's on tour."
Vincent, 28, had to survive a torrid first over from Anderson Cummins before getting off the mark in style, with a crisp six over cover. "It's been an interesting start to the tour," Vincent said. "I really haven't enjoyed it too much. It's been good to put my hand up today and get through a tough stage and then cash in with the boys scoring at the other end which made it easier to anchor an end."
Vincent's innings was the centrepiece of a New Zealand score of 363 for 5 - their highest World Cup total. "Whenever you've missed out a few times, it's natural to feel that you are not very good but the confidence from the boys around me and the season I've had so far, there's a lot of confidence within my game at the moment so I just knew it would come right if I hung in there and batted some time. When I was about fifty or sixty I felt the pressure release a little bit."
Reflecting on a third convincing win, after a six-wicket victory over England was followed by a 148-run success against Kenya, New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming said: "I couldn't really have asked for much more. There's no area where we have been found out, no area ticked that hasn't been ticked off. We move away from here pretty comfortable but also pretty confident."
One concern for New Zealand, who rested the regular new-ball duo of Shane Bond and James Franklin, was the way in which Canada, despite a daunting target to chase, attacked Daryl Tuffey and Michael Mason to the extent that 43 runs came off the first four overs. The charge was led by the Canada captain John Davison, who scored the fastest World Cup hundred (off 67 balls) in the previous edition of the tournament against the West Indies. This time around he made 52 off 31 balls.
Fleming added Davison was a hard man to contain. "He's a very good hitter, we've seen John's talents before. We could have been better, but we weren't as accurate as we could have been. The positive out of today is we learned a couple of things, especially about those first two bowlers."
Fleming added that Tuffey had sustained an arm injury which prevented him bowling a second spell. He joined batsman Ross Taylor (calf) and seam bowler Mark Gillespie (shoulder) as fitness concerns for New Zealand heading into the Super Eights.