AUS v NZ, 3rd ODI Review: Bowlers, David Warner floor New Zealand to complete whitewash
Published - Dec 9, 2016 11:58 am | Updated - Dec 9, 2016 11:58 am
Opener David Warner smashed his 2nd ODI hundred in as many innings and seventh of the year, to propel Australia to a massive 117 runs victory over New Zealand in the final match of the ODI series at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and complete a wonderful 3-0 whitewash.
Coming into bat first after Smith won the toss and chose to make New Zealand field, Warner withstood the early setback having lost Aaron Finch and Steven Smith and batted on for the entire 50 overs before getting out on the last ball of the innings. The result of his stay was a spectacular 156 runs off just 128 balls with the help of 13 boundaries and 4 sixes. Driven by his knock, Australia managed to survive the throttle from the Black Caps and managed a respectable 264/8.
New Zealand, in response, proved no match on a lively surface and was tumbled down for just 147. The Australian fast bowlers led by Mitchell Starc (3/34) along with the support of Josh Hazelwood (1/22), Pat Cummins (2/36) and James Faulkner (2/36) did the most of the damage and did not give any breathing space to the batting side. Part-timer Travis Head also contributed with a crucial 2/37.
Kane Williamson was aggressive on the field and placed fielders in attacking positions. The tactic worked as both Finch and Smith lost their wicket after giving catches to Henry Nicholls in the short mid-wicket region.
George Bailey got into awkward positions with his closed stance and contributed 23 in the 62 runs stand for the 4th wicket. Bailey didn’t have the most comfortable of time during his short stay as he was twice caught in unplayable position. New Zealand clearly had plans for him.
Colin de Grandhomme broke through in style and reduced Australia to 4 for 73 by removing Bailey and Mitchell Marsh in the space if three balls. The Aussies, however, found stability after the double blow as Travis Head batted sturdily to get back the Australian inning on track.
Although he contributed only 37 in the 105-run stand for the fifth wicket, his support proved vital to help Warner pilot the innings. Unfortunately, the vice-captain of the side was again left with the task of finding a stable partner after Head lost his wicket in the 40th over.
Mathew Wade and James Faulkner could not score much but stay at the crease till the final overs of the innings. While all these batsmen made their cameo appearances, Warner from one end continued counter attacking and kept the scoreboard moving at a healthy pace. After bringing up his fifty in 61 balls, it took him another 34 balls to complete his century before Trent Boult ran him out off the last ball of the innings.
The Australian bowlers proved too good for the New Zealanders in the second innings. After a steady start, where opener Martin Guptill and Tom Latham added 44 for the first wicket, new Zealand could never really stand tall against the hosts and lost wickets in short successions to eventually fold up for a small total.
Things went on a downward spiral when skipper Kane Williamson departed in the 14th over off Faulkner’s bowling. From that stage, all the last eight Black Caps batsmen could manage was 73 runs. Part-timer Travis Head started off the ordeal for the visitors with the wicket of Martin Guptill and BJ Watling. Mitchell Starc then cleaned up Henry Nicholls and Colin Munro and later added Santner. Colin de Granhommer became Hazlewood’s only wicket of the day while Faulkner and Cummins snapped the last two men – Southee and Boult – to end the innings.
The win should be a great respite for the Australian setup which saw a lot of quakes in the past few months struggling to win. Away losses to Sri Lanka in Tests and South Africa in the ODI format along with the Test loss at home to the Proteas again caused embarrassment and criticism. This whitewash, however, should apply some balm to those wounds and be the first step forward towards regaining their team form again.