Sunday 18 February 2018 / 09:40 PM

Black Caps claim ODI series in fiery decider

New Zealand has retained the Chappell-Hadlee trophy with a 55-run win in a fiery and controversial ODI decider in Hamilton. The contentious dismissal of Australian all-rounder Mitch Marsh proved pivotal as the visitors crumbled to be all out for 191 and was the focus of the majority of post-match discussion, despite the contest being retiring Black Caps captain Brendon McCullum’s last-ever ODI match.

McCullum’s final knock was a fittingly brisk 47 from 27, featuring three big sixes – taking him past 200 sixes in one-day internationals. The skipper’s 84-run opening stand with top-scoring Martin Guptill (59 from 61) had the home side firmly on the front foot, but their innings gradually unravelled.

Grant Elliott (50) and Corey Anderson (27) were the only other batsmen to make any sort of impression as New Zealand were dismissed for 246 in the 46th over, losing their last five wickets in the space of just 15 balls.

Marsh starred with 3/34, while Josh Hazlewood, John Hastings and Scott Boland all took two wickets apiece.

Australia appeared to have the modest chase well in hand despite openers David Warner (16) and Usman Khawaja (44) departing inside the first 12 overs, but the intensity ramped up when spinner Ish Sodhi – a late inclusion after playing in a provincial four-day match on Sunday – dismissed Steve Smith (21) and Glenn Maxwell (0) in the space of three balls.

George Bailey (33) and Mitch Marsh (41) righted the ship somewhat, but Marsh’s dismissal in the 34th over – leaving Australia teetering at 6/164 – was the flashpoint moment. Kiwi bowler Matt Henry half-heartedly appealed when he caught an apparent ‘bump ball’, but was returning to his mark when the umpires belatedly decided to review after the crowd turned up the volume upon seeing the big-screen replay.

The ball clearly came off Marsh’s bat and onto his foot – taking no part of the pitch – and he was duly given out, but the all-rounder was livid with the unorthodox process followed by the officials, while non-striker Matthew Wade was equally fired-up, calling Elliott a ‘f***ing coward’ for allegedly giving Marsh a hearty send-off.

John Hastings (6) and Wade (17) fell in consecutive overs to effectively put paid to any prospect of Australia digging their way out of trouble. With the run-rate required becoming unmanageable, Adam Zampa (2) and Boland (2) made swift exits – the latter run out courtesy of a brilliant direct-hit by New Zealand youngster Henry Nicholls that clinched an emphatic victory in style.

The furore surrounding Marsh’s dismissal overshadowed a well-deserved 2-1 series triumph for the hosts, with Australia captain Smith criticising the way the incident was handled.

“I don’t think decisions should be made on the big screen, I don’t think that’s right for the game. I think better processes need to be put in place,” Smith said. “We’ve got a review system in place. You have 15 seconds to make your decision and I don’t think that was necessary for that to come up in that point in time.

“Neither of the umpires heard an appeal so the game went on. Well it was supposed to go on. It was shown on the big screen that there was a half-appeal so they went upstairs. I was pretty disappointed with the whole process … it was handled pretty poorly. New Zealand players genuinely believed it wasn’t out and, not until they saw it on the screen, did they change their mind.

“The right decision was made – he was out, there’s no doubt about that. But if I get hit on the pad next time and it’s missing leg, do I stand there and wait until it shows that up on the big screen?”

Stud of the day

Sodhi took man-of-the-match honours courtesy of his pivotal double-strike and miserly figures of 2/31 off eight overs, but it was McCullum’s day. An exhilarating, trademark quick-fire innings was followed by some brilliant captaincy – and a couple of slick catches to boot – as ‘Baz’ provided a parting reminder of the monumental impact he has had on the limited-overs forms of the game.

Looking ahead

The testy atmosphere between the neighbouring rivals in the final one-dayer has ratcheted up the tension a couple of notches ahead of an already hotly-anticipated two-Test series. The home conditions clearly provide the Black Caps with a significant advantage, and Australia will have to play some of their best cricket to maintain a 23-year unbeaten streak on New Zealand soil.


Fun facts

-New Zealand’s ODI series win was their first since their 3-0 success on home soil in 2007.

-This was just the third ODI since where both teams were all out.

-Of all ODI bowlers with 50-plus wickets, Matt Henry’s strike-rate of 24.5 is second only to Mitchell Starc (24.2); Henry also became the equal-fifth fastest bowler to reach 50 wickets in terms of games played.

[YouTube – The Tight Five]

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About the author

Will Evans

CBS’s Editor-in-Chief and lead rugby league, union and cricket writer, Will is a Christchurch-based freelancer, also writing for Big League and Rugby League Review magazines, and The New Daily website. Will has written four rugby league books.

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