About the Match
The Kiwis crushed Australia in the first ODI to hand them a massive defeat by 159 runs and took 1-0 lead in the 3-match ODI series; the lead, however, didn't last long as the visitors climbed back into the series with an important win in the 2nd ODI. They will go up against each other in the 3rd and deciding ODI on 8th February at Hamilton. Batting first in the first game, New Zealand summed up 307 runs on board with a sturdy top-order effort; the pace bowlers then demolished the famed Australian batting line-up, getting them all-out for just 148 runs by the 25th over, proving to be the shortest ODI innings for the visitors. Australia did make a comeback and drew level on Saturday, winning the ODI by four wickets. While Australia would like to build on the momentum, the Kiwis look determined to win the upcoming match and take the series.
Henry and Boult picked up 3 wickets each to destroy the Aussie top-order, reducing the opponent to 6-41 by the 9th over; Milne and Anderson took a wicket each while Santner used his spin bowling effectively to claim two more wickets and get Australia all-out for just 148 runs. The bowlers have been in very good form and they once again proved their mettle against a strong opponent.
Earlier, the batsmen piled up the runs after being put to bat first; while Guptill scored a well-made 90 off 76, Nicholls posted 61 off 67 to steady the innings. Brendon McCullum taking charge as the captain showed his skills with the bat as he scored a quick 44 off just 29 deliveries before falling to a fast one from Faulkner in the 11th over. Santner displayed his all-rounder skills as he too contributed with 35 runs to take the total to 307 in the end.
The second ODI was a different story altogether as first their batsmen struggled to score bug after settling in and then their bowlers failing to clean the tail which resulted in a defeat. Australia chased down the 281 run target quite comfotably despite being at the receiving end for better part of their chase.
The batting line-up is composed of experienced players like McCullum, Guptill, Elliott and Williamson; with talented youngsters like Nicholls being in good form, the Kiwis surely will come back stronger on the field. The bowlers have earned their victory in the first match and they also will be motivated to keep the firing on and help the hosts win the series.
Faulkner, Hazlewood and Mitchell Marsh took 2 wickets each regularly in the first match but the others couldn’t help to restrict the opposition to a low total; Hastings claimed the wicket of Anderson and was the most economical of the lot but they lacked quick breakthroughs and gave away too many runs.
Chasing 308 runs, the entire top-order was bungled out for just 41 runs by the 9th over; Maxwell and Marsh went duck-out while Bailey, Smith and Warner failed to get the runs on board against the strong pace attack of the Kiwis. Matthew Wade and Faulkner tried to rebuild the innings scoring 30+ runs each but it was too late to come back into the game. In the second game, the visitors did well and just about sealed the game. While there was a lot of improvement from the first game, the match was much closer than the scoreline suggests.
Australia needs to have a good strategy against the New Zealand pacemen and learn how to come out all guns blazing here; the bowlers also need to put up a more disciplined attack and if they can stifle the Kiwi top-order, then surely they seal the series.
New Zealand had the upper hand here after the first ODI, but Australia fought back brilliantly in the 2nd ODI. The win wasn't as clinical as they'd have wanted, but it was a victory nonetheless. The hosts have looked right throughout the season and it would be tough to beat time. With series evenly poised at 1-1, and this being the only ODI match to played in the series, it becomes an even more important affair. The Kiwis are playing at home and have looked good consistently over the recent past makes us believe that they'll win the match and seal the series