New Zealand defeated Australia by 1 wicket in the Pool A match in Eden Park, Auckland. The match which seemed to be in New Zealand’s grasp ended up being a nail-biter with Ken Williamson keeping his cool and clinching it for the Black Caps.
Earlier in the day, Micheal Clarke won the toss and elected to bat first. The Aussies got off to a great start and reached fifty at the loss of one wicket in under 6 overs. But veteran spinner Daniel Vettori started the comeback for the Kiwis in the match.
Brought in to bowl inside the mandatory powerplay, Vettori pulled things back and then removed Shane Watson to reduce Australia to 80-2. The very next ball led Tim Southee to trap David Warner in front to make it 80-3. What followed was ‘horrendous batting’ as put by Australia skipper Micheal Clarke. From 80-1, Australia were reeling at 106-9. Vettori scalped for Steve Smith and Trent Boult completed his fifer taking wickets of Glen Maxwell, Mitchell Marsh, Micheal Clarke, Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Strac.
Brad Haddin then shared a 45 run partnership with Pat Cummins to take the Australian score past 150. Australia were finally dismissed for 151 with Corey Anderson accounting for the wicket of Haddin.
The Kiwi Chase started in a similar fashion as it started against England. Brendon McCullum came out all guns blazing and wanted to finish off the match as quickly as possible. Interestingly, New Zealand were 11 for no loss from the first ball of the innings as Johnson had overstepped and hit for a four, followed by a six by Martin Guptill on the free hit. Brendon McCullum too took out Johnson for special treatment and he ended up with figures of 6-1-68-0 in the match.
New Zealand were cruising when Brendon McCullum was dismissed for a 24 ball 50 and the score read 78/2 at the end of 8 overs. In the next two balls on the either side of Supper Break, Mitchell Starc bowled both Ross Taylor(1) and Grant Elliot(0) making it 79/4.
Just when it seemed that Ken Williamson and Corey Anderson would take New Zealand to comfortable victory after sharing a 50 plus partnership, Anderson was dismissed by Maxwell for 26 making it 131/5. Luke Ronchi was dismissed by Starc for 6, Vettori by Cummins for 2 making it 145/7. The very next over Starc bowled both Adam Milne and Tim Southee off consecutive deliveries(yorkers) for duck, leaving Trent Boult to face the remaining two deliveries of the over with the score at 146/9.
Trent Boult blocked the yorker first, and then let the next one through to the keeper leaving Ken Williamson to face the next over requiring 6 runs to win. Williamson who was batting with a cool head throughout the chase, hit the first ball of Patrick Cummins over the long on boundary for a six to seal the match for New Zealand.
This victory not only ensured that New Zealand topped the group, but also led to them reclaiming the Chappell-Hadlee trophy. Trent Boult was adjudged the man of the match for his spell of 5-27.
A sports enthusiast since 2003 with my first experience of connecting with sports being the Cricket World Cup 2003. Studying Engineering in Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology, University of Delhi, but pretty sure will not become an Engineer.