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Balancing attack and defence, and Fleming's feat

After Bangladesh's ten-wicket drubbing by Australia, Dav Whatmore, the Bangladesh coach, had suggested that their batsmen should have shown more patience and better shot-selection, especially against Glenn McGrath. Whatmore probably had some strong words to say to his team after that game, for the way his top-order approached the match against New Zealand suggested that their single goal in the first part of the innings was to keep wickets in hand.

After all the Powerplays, Bangladesh had crawled to 64 for 2 in 20 overs; of the eight fours scored during this period, four were through edges. The break-up of the strokes played by the batsmen during this period clearly indicates how cautious the batsmen were - 68 deliveries were either played defensively or left alone, that's 57% of the total balls faced. Tamim Iqbal, who played with such refreshing abandon against India, defended or left alone 24 of the 54 balls he faced.

The aim was obviously to try and ensure that Bangladesh batted out 50 overs, and while that was a sound strategy, Bangladesh's innings was severely hampered by the inability of the batsmen to take the singles and rotate the strike - they played out 88 dot balls in the first 20 overs, which is nearly 15 maiden overs, and took only 22 singles.

Some of that pressure was admittedly brought about by some superb bowling by New Zealand, with Shane Bond excelling again. Though he didn't take any wickets in his opening spell, the pressure he created allowed the others to strike, while his two wickets in the first over of his second spell effectively shut out Bangladesh's chances of getting a competitive total on the board. Bond's figures of 2 for 15 from ten overs were the third-most economical spell by a New Zealand bowler in World Cups - only Richard Hadlee has done better.

Bond has now taken 25 wickets from 12 World Cup games, at a superb average of 15.56 and an economy rate of 3.39 runs per over.

A target of 175 was always likely to be a romp, and Stephen Fleming's century ensured New Zealand were never under any pressure. Fleming's hundred was his second as captain in the World Cup, after his outstanding unbeaten 134 against South Africa in 2003. Only three other captains - Glenn Turner, Sourav Ganguly and Ricky Ponting - have scored two or more centuries in World Cups.

Fleming also became the first New Zealand batsman to score 1000 World Cup runs - his tally now stands at 1002 after 28 matches, at an impressive 40.08. Fleming has become the ninth batsman to join the 1000-run club - click here for the full list of highest run-scorers in the World Cup.

Other stats highlights

  • Scott Styris's 4 for 43 was his fifth haul of four or more wickets in ODIs, and it lifted his tally of wickets to 115 from 128 games, at a healthy average of 31.87.

  • New Zealand have made it a habit of inserting the opposition after winning the toss - this was the 23rd time they adopted this tactic in the World Cup, which is a record. New Zealand have won 14 of those games and lost nine. Sri Lanka have put the opposition in 20 times - they are second in the list - but they have only won eight and lost 11.

  • The 55-run stand between Javed Omar and Tamim Iqbal is only Bangladesh's second half-century partnership for the opening wicket in World Cups. The first was in 1999, when Mehrab Hossain and Shahriar Hossain added 69 against Pakistan at Northampton.

  • Fleming has now hit 126 fours in World Cups, which is second only to Tendulkar's 189. Fleming overtook Brian Lara's tally of 119 which is third in the list.