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Kiwis elect to bowl in deciding ODI

india Updated: Jan 09, 2007 11:34 IST
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New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming won the toss and chose to bowl in the fifth and deciding limited-overs cricket match against Sri Lanka on Tuesday.

The start of play was delayed 15 minutes by passing showers and forecast heavy rain threatened to disrupt the day-night fixture.

Nathan Astle, James Franklin and Daniel Vettori returned to the New Zealand team after missing the fourth match at Auckland, in which New Zealand was bowled out for 79 and beaten by 189 runs, its heaviest loss in limited-overs internationals.

Sri Lanka named an unchanged side.

"We probably would have preferred to bowl first but I'm in two minds so it was probably a good toss to lose," said Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene. "We just have to concentrate on getting a few runs on the board, then bowling in the right areas, getting a bit of swing: just doing the basics, really."

New Zealand entered the match under heavy public scrutiny after its inept performance in Auckland.

"We are still looking to win the series," Fleming said. "We have a pretty proud record of late. Australia is the only team that has tipped us up recently so to pick up a series win over Sri Lanka would be a good thing, before we head off to Australia." New Zealand leaves Thursday to play in a tri-series against Australia and England.

Teams

New Zealand: Stephen Fleming, captain, Nathan Astle, Shane Bond, James Franklin, Peter Fulton, Mark Gillespie, Craig McMillan, Brendon McCullum, Michael Mason, Ross Taylor, Daniel Vettori.

Sri Lanka: Mahela Jayawardene, captain, Marvan Atapattu, Dilhara Fernando, Sanath Jayasuriya, Chamara Kapugedera, Farveez Maharoof, Lasith Malinga, Muttiah Muralitharan, Kumar Sangakkara, Upul Tharanga, Chaminda Vaas.

Umpires: Billy Bowden, New Zealand, Gary Baxter, New Zealand.

TV umpire: Evan Watkin, New Zealand.

Match referee: Javagal Srinath, India.

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