Australia won the Chappell-Hadlee series’ opening match in an exciting fashion because to Cameron Green, who entered the game following a top-order collapse, maintained his composure during a late wobble, and battled through excruciating cramps.
After Trent Boult and Matt Henry sliced through Australia with the new ball to leave them at 44 for 5 in the 12th over, which also saw another.
There was a long break while the physiotherapist attended to him, and then Adam Zampa played a crucial role in relieving some of the pressure. However, there was still one last bit of late drama when a brief shower scudded across the field. In the end, Lockie Ferguson’s pretty unimpressive wide shot decided the match.
Green finished with the best score in his international career after his performance last week, which came after his first five-wicket haul against Zimbabwe in Townsville.
There were slight adjustments to Carey’s and Green’s positions: Carey was relegated to No. 6 with Marnus Labuschagne’s comeback, and Green replaced Maxwell at No. 7 after the top order collapsed. At Old Trafford in 2020, Carey’s first ODI century against England came from a situation not dissimilar to that, and Green displayed the Test-match talents that have already stood out.
Green’s first ODI fifty came off of 61 balls, while Carey’s seventh ODI fifty required 59 balls. Sharp strokeplay and fast running were evident in both innings, albeit the latter occasionally made the players nervous. When Green was dropped on 68 by Boult at fine leg on a top-edged hook, New Zealand appeared to have squandered its last chance before the late twists.
Boult didn’t win the game, but his debut served as a reminder to take advantage of any chance to watch a master craftsman in case, as appears likely, there won’t be many more of his appearances in bilateral series in the future.
Although Finch might have decided to bat in the sweltering late-afternoon sun, he preferred to run after the ball. He might have regretted it when he encountered Boult later that night. When Boult swung one back into his front pad, he was unable to predict the leftover. Armer’s innings began with a risky single into the offside, which turned into a five with overthrows.
After some discussion, David Warner seemed to suggest that it might be taking shape at the non-end of the leg, and Finch requested a review. But the initial playback suggested it wouldn’t work, and the final ball-tracking analysis proved that it couldn’t have been farther away. His ODI career may only require two more innings to be decided.
Boult was regarded by others as being too excellent, not just him. Steven Smith had been outplayed by the ball before he inside-edged a hard drive into his stumps. The bowler produced another sharp nip-backer in Boult’s subsequent over, catching Labuschagne on the crease.
Henry created a threatening double-act by cutting one back to clear Marcus Stoinis after Warner hammered a draw straight to deep square leg. Despite Ferguson’s unfortunate role in generating problems with his pace throughout the middle phase, New Zealand was unable to secure wickets from other sources.
Both captains grumbled about the “unknown” conditions prior to the match at a location hosting international cricket for the first time since 2004. Before falling to spin and New Zealand, Devon Conway, Kane Williamson, and Tom Latham all made major efforts to get to the 40s; the latter two to Maxwell, who struck three times in his third and last spell. With Josh Hazlewood taking three additional wickets, New Zealand closed the final 10 overs at 60 for 6, Maxwell’s second-best ODI career total.
Martin Guptill struggled to get going; his six runs came off the game’s first two balls after being first called out for being caught behind but having the judgment upheld. Starc and Hazlewood both bowled maidens to him while holding him down. When Guptill drove in the sixth over, he had a thick outside edge heading towards the backward point. At this point, Maxwell performed an amazing feat of fielding by diving full length to his left to seize an opportunity that appeared destined to pass him by.
Green was rewarded for his early caution when Conway danced down to him and lofted him over cover for six. He had put himself up for triumph when he swept at Zampa and got out lbw. After barely scraping four runs apiece over for the duration of the first half of the inning, Williamson and Latham showed signs of picking up the pace. But at the end of the 30-over mark, Williamson toe-ended a slog-sweep against Maxwell to deep midwicket and quit the match.
After 40 overs, Latham and Daryl Mitchell slowly added runs, leaving New Zealand 172 for 3, with a chance to close out the innings strongly with wickets in hand. While Mitchell chipped to midwicket and Latham swept, Maxwell scuttled those ambitions by removing both set leaders in the 42nd over before adding Michael Bracewell in the next.
It appeared that New Zealand would have enough when Boult put on a show, but their wait for a victory in Australia continued. At the very least for a few more days.
(Inputs from India Today)
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