It was ultimately a gut-wrenching defeat, but Marcus Stoinis’ performance at Eden Park in a six-run loss – in just his second ODI appearance – was one to cherish.
After taking 3/49 from 10 overs with the ball – the key wickets of Kane Williamson, Martin Guptill and Colin Munro, no less – the 27-year-old played one of the great one-day innings in Monday’s Chappell-Hadlee series opener.
The Victoria all-rounder came in with Australia reeling at 5/54 in the 13th over in pursuit of 287, and buckled down for a gritty half-century off 64 balls. Stoinis then exploded to bring up his maiden international ton just 32 balls later.
After facing another 21 deliveries, he had amassed 146 not out, including 11 sixes and nine fours as he carted the Black Caps’ attack to all parts of the ground. Agonisingly, No.11 Josh Hazlewood was run out when one of the great wins was within touching distance.
It was the highest innings by an Australian No.7, and the second-highest by a batsman in that position in ODI history. Meanwhile, he also became the first Aussie to take three wickets and score a century in the same match.
Stoinis’ tally of 11 sixes was the second-most by an Australian, the second-most in a run-chase, and the most ever by a player in a losing team.
Perhaps the most unanimous man-of-the-match in a losing effort ever, Stoinis spoke to the media after his stunning breakout performance – including the contrast in receptions he received from the hostile Eden Park throng after his breath-taking knock compared to when he was earlier fielding on the boundary.