Australia's world record Twenty20 chase against New Zealand on Friday night has left both captains mulling over how they defend Eden Park's backyard dimensions ahead of tomorrow night's tri-series final.

The visitors chased down the hosts' 243 for six with five wickets and seven deliveries to spare.

The ball appeared to spend more time in the stands than on the field as both bowling attacks were dismantled on one of cricket's most unforgiving arenas.

The 32 sixes equalled the world record in the format.


The Herald understands with the electronic signage the boundaries are 56m from the middle of the pitch straight, and 64m square. Ground staff have been known to reach the perimeter swinging generation-old bats during their downtime.

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With no scope to place fielders in the bleachers, Australia's David Warner and New Zealand's Kane Williamson have been calculating how to best restrict runs and protect bowlers' confidence after such a mismatch between bat and ball.

"It's probably one of those grounds where you should have five [fielders] in the outfield straight away because it doesn't matter," Warner quipped.

"It's a challenge as a captain and as a bowler; you probably need a deep fly slip instead of a third man which makes for some bizarre catching spots.

"It's not about how poorly the bowlers went. The batters got some luck with inside edges but hit the ball so clean. We've just got to find a way to get wickets in the first six overs, it's as simple as that."

Williamson placed faith in a deteriorating drop-in pitch.

"The surface is the same as the previous game and the one before that. Hopefully it takes more turn and assistance to offer balance between bat and ball. That way we might be able to use spin more as an attacking option.


"It's important not to go in with too many pre-emptive ideas. The last match [at Eden Park] was a slightly different experience because a lot of games there have been relatively low scoring."

Williamson agreed some fielding positions become less relevant on the ring or the boundary.

"Like third man. At times it went down there [less than 50m] and you have to suck it up, knowing a leading edge or a top edge would've gone for six or beaten a fieldsman along the ground even if he was back.

"You can't get caught up in any mentality of what we think is good, like 180 often being a fantastic score."

Warner was asked how they found the mental strength to haul in more than 12 runs and over in the previous match.

"After we took the first wicket I got the boys in and said 'keep smiling'. There's nothing you could do: we tried yorkers that went for four and short-pitched balls that went for six off the top edge.

"If someone throws the kitchen sink [at a delivery], it's going to go.

"You've got to laugh; it's challenging. I said it doesn't matter what they get, we'll chase it. In the end, 244 is probably 185 at the MCG."

Williamson said it was no time to remove Eden Park as a venue.

"We've had some of the most fantastic games of cricket here. The last one was the first time we've seen it fully exposed as a small ground.

"The World Cup produced some of the best atmospheres I've been involved in anywhere."

"I love playing here," Warner added. "The crowd's always upbeat, and there's a great energy and vibe."

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