Twitter Reactions: Australia too hot to handle for New Zealand at Lord’s

Australia have now strengthened their hold on the top position with 14 points to their name.

Australia have now strengthened their hold on the top position with 14 points to their name.
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Mitchell Starc celebrates Kane Williamson’s wicket. (Photo Source: Twitter)

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Australia have marched along in the 2019 World Cup registering their seventh win. They have comfortably defeated New Zealand to win the Trans-Tasman battle as well. At the halfway mark, many would’ve thought they had posted a below-par total. However, the bowlers proved it more than enough with the Kiwis crumbling under extreme pressure. Defending 243, Australia eventually managed to win the match by 86 runs as New Zealand were bundled out in the 44th over of the innings. They will have to win their final league game against England to guarantee a semi-final spot.

New Zealand had struggled in the previous few matches at the top of the order. They brought a change for this game as Henry Nicholls opened the innings along with Martin Guptill. While the duo started decently, Jason Behrendorff got the struggling Nicholls in the 10th over after scoring only 8 runs. Guptill also took his time today but it didn’t work for him either as the same bowler pinned him in front of the stumps.

Guptill could only muster 20 runs off 43 balls and once again, the onus fell on Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor. The duo played very cautiously at the start and even manoeuvred the ball when the part-timers came on to bowl. But with no pressure of the required run-rate, they didn’t take any pressure to stitch a much-needed partnership. The 55-run association, however, was broken Mitchell Starc and he sent back Williamson who was looking very good on 40.

However, his wicket proved to be the turning point of the game. Ross Taylor also lost his wicket after some time in an attempt to hoick across the line off Pat Cummins only to top edge it. Wickets kept coming then pretty frequently as none of the Kiwi batter could sustain the heat in the middle. The likes of Nathan Lyon, Starc and the Aussie bowling attack was too good on the day coupled with their top class fielding.

The tail-enders were never going to do it for New Zealand and Starc was too good for them. Eventually, they were skittled for 157 runs in the 44th over as Australia strengthened their hold on the top position on the points table. Meanwhile, Starc also became the first bowler to take three five-wicket hauls in World Cup history.

Carey and Khawaja shine; Boult ends with a hat-trick

Earlier in the day, Australia opted to bat first after winning the toss and found themselves in trouble soon. Unlike other matches, their openers Aaron Finch and David Warner were back in the hut within the first powerplay. While Trent Boult pinned Finch with a vicious inswinger, the latter was surprised with a Lockie Ferguson bouncer and guided the catch to the wicket-keeper off the face of the bat. This was an opportunity for the middle-order to spend some time in the middle.

But Steve Smith was also trapped by Ferguson. The Kiwis had planned how to get him and the batsman fell in the leg-side trap. However, the credit should to go Martin Guptill who took a sensational catch to send back the dangerous Smith early. Usman Khawaja struggled early on but survived somehow only to see his other partners also go back. James Neesham bowled a peach to get the better of Marcus Stoinis while he took a brilliant catch off his own bowling to leave Glenn Maxwell and the Aussies stunned.

It looked curtains for the Men in Yellow at 92/5 in the 22nd over. But the Aussies never give up and their fighting spirit was on display with Alex Carey and Khawaja in the middle. Carey once again proved his mettle and played some attractive strokes. Khawaja played second fiddle to him and the duo brought Australia back into the game. They added 107 runs for the sixth wicket and also notched up their respective half-centuries.

The part-timer Kane Williamson broke the partnership by removing the dangerous Carey on 71. Pat Cummins played a vital hand then even as Khawaja upped the ante. Australia were set to cross the 250-run mark but Trent Boult had other ideas. He picked up a sensational hat-trick in the final over to not concede much. He dismissed Khawaja, Mitchell Starc and Jason Behrendorff with some amazing deliveries as Australia ended up on 243 runs for the loss of nine wickets after 50 overs. Eventually, the score proved too much for the Kiwis.

Here’s how Twitter reacted: