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Nathan Astle
Partnerships - Stats
2nd ODI
India v New Zealand
Stephen Fleming
Astle and Fleming shut the door on India

There can be nothing more demoralising for an opening batsman than the cheap loss of his partner. And when the first wicket falls to the very first ball of the game, the side batting has every reason to be wrong footed. Nathan Astle watched in horror from the non-striker's end as Zaheer Khan trapped Mathew Sinclair plumb in front off the first ball of the match between India and New Zealand at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. Having lost the first match of the Coca-Cola Cup in Sri Lanka to the hosts, New Zealand could not afford to find themselves at the receiving end once more. They desperately needed to dig deep, find the resources and put up a strong showing.

Enter Stephen Fleming with the score on 0/1.

The New Zealand skipper has a reputation for being unflappable. The most tense of situations do not seem to bother the man from Canterbury. While someone like Steve Waugh is of the same mould, Fleming seems to take the expressionless, dour mode of playing cricket to extremes. Martin Crowe, former Kiwi star batsman made just this point while commentating on television. If anything, Fleming was so cool on the field that people criticised him for it, said Crowe. That was precisely the approach the Kiwis needed against India. In the calming presence of Fleming, Nathan Astle took the bowling on and came up tops.

In the first match of the Coca-Cola Cup against Sri Lanka, Fleming looked in good touch, but failed to make an impact. Timing the ball sweetly through the offside, Fleming was able to keep the scoreboard ticking over. A sparkling cover drive did wonders for the New Zealand morale. Tucking the ball away off his pads and hips, Fleming kept the fielders on their toes. For his part, Astle too was ready for a sprint, combining well with Fleming. The pair showed a good understanding and instinctively stole many singles that really did not exist.

Unfortunately or fortunately, simply being in good nick is never enough. Playing the classiest of strokes can leave you high and dry if the runs don't pile up. New Zealand however had no problems on that count with Astle blazing away from one end. The partnership between Fleming and Astle settled the matter in New Zealand's favour. With Fleming providing the stability at one end, Astle was able to crash the ball square of the wicket in typical fashion. Anything even slightly short of a length disappeared through the off side.

It was not until the 17th over that the Indians managed to break the 70-run partnership between Astle and Fleming. Apart from keeping the Indians at bay for a length of time and strengthening the New Zealand score, the association for the second wicket helped build a solid foundation. Despite losing a wicket off the very first ball, the pair of Fleming and Astle managed to score at over four runs an over. The skipper's contribution, 25, might look a small one. In the context of the game however, there was no more important partnership than the one between Fleming and Astle: our Five Star Partnership.

"The superiority of chocolate (hot chocolate), both for health and nourishment, will soon give it the same preference over tea and coffee in America which it has in Spain..."
-Thomas Jefferson, 1785 letter to John Adams

Chocolate and Nutrients
Chocolate provides a number of nutrients the body requires daily. A milk chocolate bar weighing 1.4 ounces contains about three grams of protein, fifteen percent of the Daily Value of riboflavin, nine percent of the Daily Value for calcium and seven percent of the Daily Value for iron.

Almonds and peanuts added to chocolate increase the nutrients in a bar. This is particularly true for protein. Milk chocolate bars with almonds also have increased amounts of calcium, iron and riboflavin.

Results & Scores
Sri Lanka won by 121 runs
Sri Lanka 295/5 (50 ov)
India 174 (47.2 ov)

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