New Zealand edge out Australia in low-scoring thriller

Australia 151 (Haddin 43, Boult 27-5) lost to New Zealand 152-9 (McCullum 50, Williamson 45*, Starc 28-6)

In the lead-up to the much-anticipated match between New Zealand and Australia at Eden Park much was made of the big-hitters from both sides and the small boundaries, but it was two left-arm quicks who provided the fans with what was the best match of the tournament so far. The Australians won the toss and elected to bat first, and the New Zealand bowlers struggled to find early direction, against Aaron Finch and David Warner. An early wicket to Tim Southee did not aid the run rate, and New Zealand were under pressure when veteran spinner Daniel Vettori was introduced into the attack. What ensued was some spin bowling of the highest order, which dramatically slowed the run rate. The score was sitting at 80-1 when Vettori struck, removing Shane Watson after a 50-run stand with Warner. Watson was out as he so often is, caught playing a rash shot, and it only took one ball for the partnership between Warner and Michael Clarke to be broken, the opener trapped leg before by Southee. Clarke and Steve Smith looked to consolidate, but when Smith edged Vettori behind the collapse began. Trent Boult had both Glenn Maxwell and Mitch Marsh chop the ball on to their own stumps within 3 balls, and then had Clarke caught off an uppish drive. Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Starc were also out in quick succession, and so Australia found themselves at 9-106 and wondering what had happened. A last wicket partnership of 45 between keeper Brad Haddin and Pat Cummins dragged the Australians over 150, but it did not look like enough against a dynamic Kiwi line-up.

Things started badly for Australia, as Martin Guptill and Brendon McCullum attacked the bowling, with 40 on the board after around 4 overs when Guptill chipped Starc to the waiting arms of Cummins. McCullum continued to attack despite a painful blow on the arm, reaching his 50 off 21 balls to come close to beating the record he set on Friday with a half-century off just 18. He was out to Cummins a few balls later, and when Starc knocked over Ross Taylor for one it was 79-3 and New Zealand looked slightly shaky. Nerves really began to set in when Grant Elliot, playing more like a tentative tail-ender than a number 5 batsman, was bowled first ball, but Kane Williamson and Corey Anderson consolidated. The pair put on 52 to take the score to 131 when Anderson was out chipping the ball straight to Cummins at mid-wicket. At that stage, and even when keeper Luke Ronchi was out to Starc, it looked a case of too little too late. When Vettori was out to a Cummins full toss with just 7 needed, however, Australia looked like they could just be back in it. This was when Mitchell Starc struck. He knocked over Adam Milne with a yorker many top batsmen would struggle to dig out, and he smashed Southee’s off stump with a ball of equal vigour. The equation was now 6 runs with one wicket in hand, and Boult was the man in. Boult played out the hat-trick ball, before Starc missed his line, and the stumps, with the final delivery of his ninth over. This gave Williamson a chance to finish it against Cummins, and with a gutsy shot over long on he did it, confirming a victory that all but confirms a top-placed finish for New Zealand in Group A.

Scorecard
Australia innings

Batsman How out R B SR 4 6
A Finch b Southee 14 7 200.00 1 1
D Warner lbw Southee 34 42 80.95 2 1
S Watson c Southee b Vettori 23 30 76.66 2 0
M Clarke c Williamson b Boult 12 18 66.66 1 0
S Smith c Ronchi b Vettori 4 11 36.36 0 0
G Maxwell b Boult 1 3 33.33 0 0
M Marsh b Boult 0 2 0.00 0 0
B Haddin c sub (Latham) b Anderson 43 41 104.87 4 2
M Johnson c Williamson b Boult 1 7 14.28 0 0
M Starc b Boult 0 3 0.00 0 0
P Cummins not out 7 30 23.33 1 0
Extras (4b, 2lb, 6w) 12
Total (all out, 32.2 overs) 151

Fall: 30 (Finch), 80 (Watson), 80 (Warner), 95 (Smith), 96 (Maxwell), 97 (Marsh), 104 (Clarke), 106 (Johnson), 106 (Starc), 151 (Haddin).

Bowling O M R W E
T Southee 9 0 65 2 7.22
T Boult 10 3 27 5 2.70
D Vettori 10 0 41 2 4.10
A Milne 3 0 6 0 2.00
C Anderson 0.2 0 6 1 18.00

 

New Zealand innings

Batsman How out R B SR 4 6
M Guptill c Cummins b Starc 11 14 78.57 1 1
B McCullum c Starc b Cummins 50 24 208.33 7 3
K Williamson not out 45 42 107.14 5 1
R Taylor b Starc 1 2 50.00 0 0
G Elliot b Starc 0 1 0.00 0 0
C Anderson c Cummins b Maxwell 26 42 61.90 2 1
L Ronchi c Haddin b Starc 6 7 85.71 0 1
D Vettori c Warner b Cummins 2 3 66.66 0 0
A Milne b Starc 0 2 0.00 0 0
T Southee b Starc 0 1 0.00 0 0
T Boult not out 0 2 0.00 0 0
Extras (10w, 1nb) 11
Total (9 wickets, 23.1 overs) 152

Fall: 40 (Guptill), 78 (McCullum), 79 (Taylor), 79 (Elliot), 131 (Anderson), 139 (Ronchi), 145 (Vettori), 146 (Milne), 146 (Southee).

Bowling O M R W E
M Johnson 6 1 68 0 11.33
M Starc 9 0 28 6 3.11
P Cummins 6.1 0 38 2 6.16
M Marsh 1 0 11 0 11.00
G Maxwell 1 0 7 1 7.00

New Zealand won by 1 wicket (with 161 balls remaining)
Toss: Australia, who chose to bat
Player of the match: Trent Boult (New Zealand)
Umpires: Marais Erasmus (South Africa), Richard Illingworth (England)
Points: New Zealand 2, Australia 0

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