Cricket: Perfect performance by Black Caps

By Andrew Alderson at Eden Park

The Black Caps celebrate the wicket of Matthew Wade during the first ODI against Australia. Photo / Getty
The Black Caps celebrate the wicket of Matthew Wade during the first ODI against Australia. Photo / Getty

Brutal batting in sync with a lethal bowling and fielding display has taken New Zealand to a 159-run win over Australia in the opening Chappell-Hadlee Trophy one-day international.

It is the Black Caps biggest margin of victory (by runs) at the ground, surpassing the 116-run gap mustered against Sri Lanka in March 1983.

As it happened: New Zealand demolish Australia

The New Zealand innings was anchored by Martin Guptill's 90 off 76 balls. The 100-run third-wicket stand between him and Henry Nicholls (61 off 67) set up the game.

With 307-8 in the runs bank, the bowlers had the freedom to distribute aggression to a batting line-up which had no answer. Five wickets fell for eight runs in the space of 22 balls between the sixth and ninth overs.

Matt Henry (three for 41 from six overs) and Trent Boult (three for 38 from seven overs) scythed through the top six. The visitors were beyond redemption once reduced to 41 for six after nine overs.

Among the seven catches, the highlight came from Kane Williamson who leaped like an Olympic triple jumper at extra cover to haul in a one-hander off Glenn Maxwell.

The key moment came with David Warner's lbw for 12 in the seventh over. Umpire Derek Walker fired him, leaving Australia 39-3. Boult's delivery rushed him to hit the top of his pad with both feet off the ground. Remarkably, Warner decided not to review after discussing with partner George Bailey.

Earlier, New Zealand seemed set for a record ground total at 182 for three after 25 overs, rumbling along at 7.28 runs per over.

Australia soon scuppered such thoughts.

In an innings of two halves, the visitors clawed their way back, 'reducing' the hosts to the sixth highest ODI total at the ground.

Only seven innings in 71 ODIs have surpassed 300; three have come since the ground's reconfiguration in 2010. The joint highest came with 314 in the tie between New Zealand and India in 2014.

Guptill triumphed over past adversity against Australia, after New Zealand were sent in. His 90 surpassed his previous best of 64 not out against them, set seven years ago in Brisbane.

The innings included a 113m six from the opening delivery of the fourth over, bowled by Kane Richardson. Rather than take out his customary seven iron, this was akin to a full-blooded wedge, reaching upwards of 40m to land on the ASB stand roof.

Williamson made his first ODI duck in 979 days and 50 innings, but Brendon McCullum's 44 off 29 and Grant Elliott's 21 off 18 buoyed the New Zealand cause before Australia wound in the vice. Spells from John Hastings, James Faulkner, Mitchell Marsh and Richardson prevented the hosts from hitting a boundary between the 32nd and 42nd overs, a period in which the Kiwis dipped from 215-4 to 240-6.

Hastings was the stand out bowler with one for 39 from his allotment.

After Corey Anderson (10 off 20 balls) and Luke Ronchi (16 off 26) struggled to accelerate, Mitchell Santner (35 off 39) offered late pep.

Australia's fielders experienced no shortage of helpful advice across the afternoon. Misfields from Josh Hazlewood and Shaun Marsh resulted in verbal roastings, however, Warner's record remained impeccable despite his pedigree being questioned to a degree which would have required government-sponsored DNA analysis of his family tree.




- NZ Herald

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