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Fleming rues lack of killer instinct

New Zealand Test loss to Pakistan by seven wickets could be attributed to a lack of a killer instinct, according to captain Stephen Fleming.

india Updated: Dec 30, 2003 09:39 IST

New Zealand Test loss to Pakistan by seven wickets on Tuesday could be attributed to a lack of a killer instinct, according to captain Stephen Fleming.

Pakistan wrapped up the match and the series 1-0 by scoring the 28 runs needed for victory with captain Inzamam-ul-Haq and Yousuf Youhana guiding the tourists to their target in just four overs on the final day.

Inzamam was not out 72, while Youhana was unbeaten on 88 as Pakistan cruised to 277 for three after being set 274 to win the match and the series after the first Test in Hamilton ended in a draw.

New Zealand had seemed to hold the upper hand in the match after taking a 190-first innings lead but were destroyed by fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar on the fourth day with him finishing the second innings with six for 30 off 18 overs and match figures of 11 for 108.

"I don't think it's was application or commitment that was missing," said Fleming. "We got tentative as we lost two or three wickets because we could see what was happening," he added of his side's dramatic second-innings collapse when they lost seven wickets for eight runs.

"Once a side starts losing momentum or a team starts to grab it you can see the change, especially with a Pakistan side who are very good at taking over when they get a sniff."

"The clear thing for me is that it's not just this Test but it's two or three we've played where we've got into dominating positions and then not being able to follow through for a win or at least force an honourable draw.

"We've been in good positions and thrown it away in one or one-and-a-half sessions.

"It's an interesting dilemma to have because usually it's the other way round and you're fighting to stay in the match."

"We seem to have trouble in icing the cake. It's a mental state and something we have to work on. At the moment we seem timid."

First Published: Dec 30, 2003 09:39 IST