Warner, Marsh power Australia to victory at Wellington: David Warner, literally powered Australia to a win against New Zealand in the second of the three-match ODI series at Wellington, thereby helping Australia to be ‘alive’ in the series after a disastrous start to the series, by losing the first encounter in Auckland by a huge margin of 159 runs.
Warner played an innings of life-time hitting 8 fours and 4 sixes on his way to 98 runs off just 79 deliveries at 124.05 strike rate. Playing in his 70th game (68th innings) he missed out on his 6th ODI century by a whisker.
The second delivery of the 30th over bowled by Mitchell Santner wrapped him on the pads. The ‘big shout’ for ‘leg-before’ was negated by the on-field umpire Billy Bowden. However, on a review taken by the Kiwis the decision came in their favour with the third-umpire Ian Gould ruling Warner out.
By the time Warner departed he had already put up an opening partnership of 122 runs in 16.2 overs at 7.46 runs an over, with Usman Khawaja, who playing in his 5th game, registered his second ODI half-century. Khawaja scored exactly 50 runs off 49 deliveries with 7 fours. This was the best partnership for any wicket in this match.
Earlier, winning the toss, Kiwis opted to bat.
The hero of the first game, Martin Guptill and the Kiwi skipper, Brendon McCullum started off reasonably well but could not provide a great start, At the team score of 35 runs, McCullum fell to the seamer, Scott Boland, at his individual score of 28 runs.
Guptill and Kane Williamson then added another 53 runs for the second wicket, before Guptill departed with his personal tally of 31 runs, being caught at the deep cover by Usman Khawaja off the bowling of Mitchell Marsh.
A 63-run partnership off 11.4 overs for the fourth wicket between Williamson and Grant Elliot (38) took the score to 158 for the loss of 4 wickets, with Williamson (60) departing after notching up his 25th ODI half century.
The eighth wicket partnership between Mitchell Santner and Adam Milne in 7.2 overs produced a very useful 61 runs, taking the team total to 266 runs in 47.4 overs, Milne’s cameo innings came to end when the Aussie skipper, Steven Smith caught him off the bowling of Josh Hazlewood.
Closely on the heels of his unbeaten innings at Auckland, Santner played another useful knock and remained unbeaten on 45* runs off just 39 deliveries with 2 fours and a six.
New Zealand’s innings folded up with 281 runs for the loss of 9 wicket
Hazlewood (10-0-61-3), Boland (10-0-61-2), debutant leg-spinner Adam Zampa (10-0-57-2) and Mitchell Marsh (6-0-30-2) were the chief wreckers for Australia.
Chasing 282 runs, inspite of the huge first-wicket partnership, the Aussies struggled, losing Smith (2), Bailey (0) and Maxwell (6) in quick succession.
Warner kept one-end going and alongwith Mitchell Marsh, added 47 runs in 7.5 overs for the fifth wicket.
The unbroken seventh-wicket partnership of 86* runs, the second best partnership for any wicket in the match, between Marsh (69*) and John Hastings (48*) in 14 overs, helped the visitors, cross the line.
Playing in his 30th game (28th innings), Mitchell Marsh registered his seventh ODI half-century that came in 43 deliveries with 7 fours and 1 six.
Aussies scored 283 runs for the loss of 6 wickets in 46.3 overs and won the game by four wickets with 21 deliveries to spare.
Mitchell Marsh, for an all-round performance, with the ball (6-0-30-2), the bat (69*) and on the field with one catch (Luke Ronchi), was awarded the Player of the Match.
Speaking at the post-match presentation, the Kiwi skipper, McCullum said “ I thought we were okay. We were par. That summed up the game, we were just okay. Australia played well under pressure. We are still learning a little bit. We are still hanging in there. Santner is a gun cricketer. He is a huge positive for us. I thought the bowlers did a good job as well. Australia took their opportunities and deserve to win. We had another big crowd today; I”m sure there will be a bumper crowd at Hamilton. It should be a cracker.”
Steven Smith, the winning Aussie skipper said, “I thought the way we were able to scrape over the line, we showed composure. We could have bowled them out for 250. We let it slip, I dropped a catch. I thought the surface was pretty good and I”m just pleased we were able to scrape home. Hastings did a terrific job. No.3,4, and 5 still have a lot of work to do. Zampa did well, he took crucial two wickets”.
The two rivals lock horns for one last time in the series on 8th February, 2016, at Hamilton.