Cricket: Only one run in it, but the Aussies scrape in

By David Leggat

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Australia made it a transtasman Twenty20 double last night, but their men had to work harder than the women had earlier in the day.

While the Australian women won by nine wickets in a rain-hit contest, the men squeezed home by a single run after Nathan McCullum slammed the final ball for six.

New Zealand needed 14 off the final over by Australia's one-day champion bowler Nathan Bracken, and it was just beyond them, although McCullum's 4, 6 finish put them desperately close.

Chasing 150 for seven, New Zealand got to 149 for five.

Man of the match Bracken's first 3.4 overs - before McCullum's final flourish - cost just six in a fine, tight display.

New Zealand captain Dan Vettori admitted some of his team would probably have been viewing it as a de facto decider to the one-day series, which ended 2-2 when the fifth game was cut down by rain in Brisbane on Friday night. In that case, they'll have been sorely disappointed.

Fireworks lit the sky above the Sydney Cricket Ground at halftime last night, but New Zealand didn't take the cue, making a stuttering start to their chase.

Peter Fulton played out a maiden from Bracken, whose first 10 balls, remarkably, were scoreless.

Brendon McCullum and Neil Broom put some pace back into the innings, adding a brisk 61 before Broom skied high to square leg, after making 36 off 26 balls.

At halfway, New Zealand were 66 for two, one run behind on comparative run rates.

But they looked as if they'd left their charge too late before McCullum and Grant Elliott took 20 off James Hopes' last over.

Twenty five were needed off the last three; then 20 from the last two when what seemed to be a likely match-winning six from McCullum was spectacularly caught at long on by Adam Voges.

McCullum was out for 61 off 47 balls, and the balance had swung Australia's way again.

His older brother gave it a lash at the death and almost pulled it off.

Earlier, belligerent lefthander David Warner was back at the top of Australia's order and immediately let rip at some ordinary new ball bowling.

Warner is a one-trick pony, but he had plenty of pies to munch on from Iain O'Brien and Tim Southee. Half volleys and half trackers look the same in any grade of cricket.

Australia were sailing along at 41 for one after five overs, before Ian Butler and Vettori applied the brakes.

Butler - one of eight Twenty20 international debutants in the two teams last night - was making his first New Zealand appearance in four years.

He began with a bouncer, called wide, but yorked Callum Ferguson with a beauty in the same over.

He has a death wish - he likes bowling in the final overs - but didn't get the job last night. But it was a good return and expect him to be getting another opportunity against India in the two Twenty20 matches next week.

David Hussey and Voges were tied up for a time, and the crowd grew restless.

It took until the 15th over, by which stage Vettori had used seven bowlers, for the first six of the innings by Hussey off Grant Elliott.

Vettori and Butler were the pick of the bowlers, and O'Brien came back well from his early drubbing.


D Warner c Vettori b O'Brien 23
B Haddin c and b Southee 15
C Ferguson b Butler 8
D Hussey c Broom b Vettori 41
A Voges lbw b Elliott 26
C White c Vettori b O'Brien 16
J Hopes not out 16
M Henriques run out 1
P Siddle not out 1
Extras (1lb, 1nb, 1w) 3

Total (for 7 wkts, 20 overs) 150

Fall: 34 (Haddin), 38 (Warner), 52 (Ferguson), 104 (Voges), 128 (Hussey), 135 (White), 137 (Henriques).

Bowling: J Franklin 1-0-6-0, T Southee 4-0-31-1 (1nb), I O'Brien 4-0-34-2, I Butler 4-0-30-1 (1w), D Vettori 4-0-23-1, N McCullum 2-0-14-0, G Elliott 1-0-11-0.

New Zealand
B McCullum c Voges b Hilfenhaus 61
M Guptill lbw b Siddle 0
P Fulton c Haddin b Siddle 1
N Broom c Ferguson b Hopes 36
G Elliott not out 23
J Franklin run out 3
N McCullum not out 10
Extras (3b, 10lb, 2w) 15

Total (for 5 wkts, 20 overs) 149

Fall: 5 (Guptill), 12 (Fulton), 73 (Broom), 131 (B McCullum), 137 (Franklin).

Bowling: P Siddle 4-0-24-2 (1w), N Bracken 4-1-16-0, B Hilfenhaus 4-0-32-1 (1w), J Hopes 4-0-40-1, D Hussey 4-0-24-0.

Result: Australia won by one run.

Man of the match: Nathan Bracken.

- NZ Herald

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