Crowds always support the under dogs, the team who is behind, unless it’s a home team, to make a cricket match interesting. However, CWC 2011 has only been able to see competitive matches with strong performances from minnows against the cricket majors. In another disappointing one sided affair, . Mitchell Johnson was adjudged Man of the match for his 4 wickets for just 33 runs.
It was an obnoxious start for the kiwis with the opener Martin Guptil taking 19 deliveries to open his account. Brendon McCullum on the other hand, in his usual style, creamed the opposition over covers on multiple occasions. McCullum fell in the fourth over handing a catch to Krejza. Jesse Ryder showed some promise and pulled a couple of bowls from middle and leg towards the long leg for consecutive boundaries of Mitchell Johnson. Guptil innings soon came to end to a ball keeping low and it opened the flood gates for rest of the Kiwi side. Ryder was caught behind and Franklin got out in the similar fashion poking outside off stump. NZ were tumbling wickets and lost Styris in a matter of few balls and were in shambles in the 15th over with 6 down at 73. The younger McCullum showed some intent and scored a well compiled 52 while captain Vettori managed an impressive 44 to make NZ reach a respectable but below par 206 all out with almost 5 overs to spare. Brett Lee spearheaded the attack with two maidens in his spell of 8 overs giving away just 29 runs. Tait’s fury was New Zealand’s trouble as he struck on three occasions but the hero of the day was Mitchell Johnson who uprooted four NZ victims for only 33 runs.
The ruthless openers Shane Watson and Brad Haddin left no stone unturned in forcing New Zealand bite the dust as they cruised the scoreboard to 74 in the first power play without losing a single wicket. Haddin in particular played some scintillating drives caressing the ball through covers and through the ‘V’ and made a better than run a ball fifty. At the other end, the man in form of his life, Shane Watson raced to 62 in just 61 balls. Hamish Bennett gave some respite by picking up both the openers in the 19th over of the second innings. Ponting’s dismal run continues as he was stumped of Southee for 12. Michael Clarke and White ensured no further hiccups and drove Australia home with 7 wickets to spare. NZ bowling was lacklustre and they need to regroup for the future matches. Australia is sending strong signals to all the teams and is just finding the right touch at the right time.
NZ 206 all out (45.1 ovs)
AUS 207/3 (34 ovs)
Australia wins by 7 wickets
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