Saturday, Mar 05, 2005
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NAPIER, MARCH 4. Beleaguered New Zealand will attempt to restore some pride and prevent its first ever 5-0 one-day whitewash at home in the final One Day International against Australia here on Saturday.
Also at stake is its No. 2 ranking in world one-day cricket. A loss would allow Sri Lanka to leapfrog the Kiwis into second spot.
Unlike coach John Bracewell, New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming said it is important for the Kiwis to retain their No. 2 spot.
``We haven't played well enough to be the No. 2 side up until now. We've got to play well tomorrow to hold that No. 2 ranking and just prove that we're still amongst the top of the pack.''
New Zealand's senior players have performed poorly throughout the series and Fleming said it was important that two or three of them including himself find their form if the Kiwis were to have any chance against the world's top side.
``We've got to get a group of players firing well and you turn to your senior players first,'' he said. ``I've got to perform as a batter, that's my biggest concern ... I'm pretty determined to do well looking at the bigger picture.'' Opening batsman Nathan Astle will be missing from the line-up, due to a shoulder injury suffered while trying to take a slip catch in the fourth match in Wellington on Tuesday.
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