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World Cup 2011 – Australia vs New Zealand: Aussies Crush Black Caps

By on February 25, 2011

Australia 207 for 3 (Watson 62, Haddin 55) beat New Zealand 206 (Nathan 52, Vettori 44, Johnson 4-33, Tait 3-35) by 7 wickets…

Australia wasted no time in setting about its target of 207 to beat New Zealand in the World Cup match and got home by seven wickets with 16 overs to spare in Nagpur on Friday.

Michael Clark (24 not out) and Cameron White (22 not out) saw Australia home after a superb 133-run opening stand by Shane Watson (62) and Brad Haddin (55).

It was an effort which lapsed as a true contest when New Zealand collapsed to be 6-73 after being asked to bat first.

While New Zealand struggled to deal with the accuracy of Brett Lee and the pace of Shaun Tait, it was left-armer Mitchell Johnson who proved most troublesome to end with 4-33 from 9.1 overs. Tait took 3-35.

The Australians found little in the New Zealand attack to concern them, apart from one over by tanglefoot bowler Hamish Bennett who claimed the wickets of openers Haddin, from a comedy of errors by bowler and batsman involving a slow bouncer, and Watson.

Both had scored half-centuries, Haddin the first from 39 balls, including eight boundaries, but then Watson raced ahead of him when taking three fours in one Daniel Vettori over to get there in 52 balls with five fours and a six.

Haddin was dismissed first, caught by James Franklin at deep mid-wicket while Watson, on 62 played a ball on.

Tim Southee went close to securing Ricky Ponting’s wicket – twice when he was on nine.

An appeal for a caught behind was reviewed but showed he hadn’t hit it, but then next ball an appeal for an lbw was declined and New Zealand chose not to appeal it. But television evidence suggested Ponting would have been out.

However, three runs later he wasn’t so fortunate. A legside ball from Southee unbalanced Ponting and McCullum, standing up, had the bails off in a flash.

But it was all too little too late.

Compounding New Zealand’s situation was the injury problems which saw Vettori, Bennett and Styris leave the field during the Australian innings.

New Zealand paid the price for another inept batting performance, bolstered only by a third successive half-century by Nathan McCullum during a pair of rearguard stands which saw 48 runs added with Jamie How (22) for the seventh wicket, and then 54 with skipper Daniel Vettori (44).

The only batsman to emerge with any credit was No.8 batsman Nathan McCullum who hit another half-century, his third in successive innings.

But he fell lbw to Mitchell Johnson for 52. He and Jamie How added 48 valuable runs for the seventh wicket after New Zealand had lost four wickets for seven runs to be 6-73.

Vettori produced more unorthodox stroke play, but Lee’s return to the bowling crease produced his demise, feathering a catch to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin. It finally gave Lee a wicket after an impressive bowling effort which yielded one for 29 from eight overs.

Jesse Ryder offered a hint of a potentially big innings but couldn’t survive the first drinks break and was caught behind for 25.

Source: Cricket Australia

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