New Zealand exacted some semblance of World Cup revenge in the first trans-Tasman ODI since the MCG decider in March, crushing Australia by 159 runs in the opening match of the Chappell-Hadlee series at Eden Park.
Sent in to bat by Steve Smith, the Black Caps amassed 8/307 – a total that looked like being far greater after Martin Guptill and Brendon McCullum made a scorching start. Skipper McCullum, in his final appearance at the ground, took several wild airswings in the opening three overs but soon found his damaging rhythm, clubbing five fours and three sixes in a blistering 44 off just 29 balls.
McCullum was the first man out in the 11th over – bowled by James Faulkner – with the score on 79, while Kane Williamson last only seven balls for a rare duck. But Guptill (90 from 76), who earlier hoisted a six onto the Eden Park roof, put on 100 for the third wicket with impressive Canterbury youngster Henry Nicholls (61 from 67).
Guptill departed via a brilliant run out by Glenn Maxwell, before Mitch Marsh put the brakes on the home side’s innings by removing Nicholls and Grant Elliott (21 from 18). Delicately poised at 5/231 in the 36th over, the Black Caps made only another 76 runs – including 35 not out from spinning all-round Mitchell Santner – when a score of 350-plus had looked on the cards.
Faulkner, who took a superb caught-and-bowled to get rid of Adam Milne, and Josh Hazlewood also finished with two wickets.
Australia’s batsmen were under the pump from the outset, however. Shaun Marsh failed to justify his selection ahead of Usman Khawaja, out for 5 in the second over, before Steve Smith left in the sixth over for a quick-fire 18.
Smith was the highest scorer amongst the visitors’ top six as David Warner (12), George Bailey (2), Maxwell (0) and Mitch Marsh (0) all went cheaply; Trent Boult and Matt Henry were is sizzling touch with the ball, claiming three scalps apiece to leave Australia in ruins at 6/41.
Matthew Wade (37 from 38) and Faulkner (36 from 33) produced a plucky 79-run stand for the seventh wicket, but the duo fell in consecutive overs – to Corey Anderson and Milne respectively – to end any chance of an Aussie miracle.
After brief resistance from Kane Richardson (19 from 13), Santner claimed the remaining two wickets in back-to-back balls in the 25th over, Australia all out for 148 and left with plenty to ponder ahead of the second encounter in Wellington on Saturday.
Compounding the tourists’ woes, Faulkner – easily their best performer – has reportedly returned home with a hamstring injury.
Stud of the day
Martin Guptill has rarely produced his best against Australia, but he pulled out a self-assured knock that illustrated why he has become the scorn of virtually every other nation in limited-overs cricket. The humble opener blasted eight fours and five sixes to underpin New Zealand’s hefty total. In outrageous form during this home summer, Guptill will be desperately keen to translate his ODI and T20 touch to the Test arena later this month.
Harrowing memories of the World Cup final flooded back as Brendon McCullum swiped unsuccessfully at a raft of Josh Hazlewood and Kane Richardson deliveries, but when he smashed Hazlewood for six in the third ball of the third over, it signalled party-time at Eden Park. McCullum hit two fours and another six from the remaining three balls of the over to get the Black Caps’ innings rolling in a display reminiscent of the side’s unforgettable run on home soil in the lead-up to the ill-fated decider.
-Australia’s 146 balls faced to be all out was the least in their ODI history.
-This match represented the first time Australia has lost six wickets in the first 10 overs since 2002.
-New Zealand’s 182 runs in the first 25 overs was the most against Australia by a team batting first since 2002.
-Kane Williamson’s duck was his first in ODIs in two and a half years.