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Cricket: Record stand helps Aussie home

John Hastings hugs teammate Mitchell Marsh after the pair guided Australia to victory. Photo / Getty
John Hastings hugs teammate Mitchell Marsh after the pair guided Australia to victory. Photo / Getty

Australian all-rounder Mitchell Marsh learned he had secured a $1.06 million contract in the Indian Premier League via a crowd patron just before batting to keep the Chappell-Hadlee series alive against New Zealand.

An unbeaten 86-run partnership between Marsh and John Hastings helped Australia defeat New Zealand by four wickets with 21 balls to spare and level the series 1-1. The decider is in Hamilton tomorrow.

"I was waiting to bat when some bloke yelled out at me," Marsh said. "I didn't really believe him, then tried to block it out.

"He said 'well done you've just gone for a million dollars'

"[Brother] Shaun came and sat next to me later [to pass on the news] with a grin and a nudge."

However, Marsh focused on the job.

"Your bank balance doesn't give you runs."

The stand was a record for the seventh-wicket against New Zealand, overtaking Darren Lehmann and Brad Hogg's 74 at Sydney in 2004-05.

Only one higher total had been chased at the ground, when Sri Lanka reached England's 309 in 47.2 overs at the World Cup.

Appropriately, Marsh (69 off 72 balls) and Hastings (48 off 47 balls) earned the biggest contracts from those on the field who were auctioned.

Marsh's deal is with Pune. Hastings picked up a $289,000 contract with Kolkata.
At 197 for six in the 33rd over, New Zealand had fought back.

Two key moments, both off left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner's bowling on his way to three for 47, tipped the game back in the Black Caps' favour.

Santner struck David Warner on the pads in the 31st over. Umpire Brent Bowden, adjudicating in his 200th ODI, gave it not out. The bowler consulted with captain Brendon McCullum and they reviewed. The result? Plumb.

Thirteen balls later, Santner dropped short of a length to Matthew Wade. He pulled and Adam Milne, at deep square leg, channeled the spirit of Daniel Vettori at the same ground during the World Cup quarter-final. He plucked what seemed a certain six one-handed from the air.

"He was creeping about three metres off rope," Santner quipped. "But he's an athletic guy and the ball stuck."

Ultimately, Warner's 98 from 79 balls proved crucial. He remained unfazed despite nauseating volleys of crowd vitriol and the loss of three wickets for 11 runs as Steve Smith, George Bailey and Glenn Maxwell succumbed to Matt Henry and Trent Boult between overs 20 and 23.

Earlier, New Zealand's batting resources needed to be stretched and pulled like a woollen jersey left too long in the drier, as they eked out 281 for nine.

Australia's bowling and fielding struggled, before putting the Kiwi middle order on a tumble cycle, with four for 47 from the 30th to 41st overs.

New Zealand's top order platform of 160 for four after 30 overs was fractured. Kane Williamson's dismissal for 60 off 74 balls opened the way for the middle order to flourish, but the hosts were flailing at 205 for seven.

Enter Santner and Milne.

Santner's record from 11 ODI innings tells a story. His top score is 48, but he averages 49 at a strike rate of 105 with five not outs.

He mustered 45 from 39 balls.

Milne's cameo was his highest score in ODIs. His driving brought 36 runs off 27 balls, in a 61-run eighth-wicket stand.

New Zealand survived their full complement.

Hastings went wicketless but was still the pick of the Australian bowlers. His none for 42 kept the pressure on while Josh Hazlewood (three for 61), Scott Boland (two for 61), Marsh (two for 30 off six) and debutant leg spinner Adam Zampa (two for 57) reaped the rewards.

Zampa claimed Williamson as his maiden international wicket, forcing him to drive in the air to Smith at extra cover.

SCOREBOARD


WAGONWHEEL


MANHATTAN

- Herald on Sunday

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