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Australia survive New Zealand flurry
December 08, 2004 18:10 IST
Australia withstood a late flurry of exciting strokeplay from pace bowler Kyle Mills to beat New Zealand by 17 runs in Wednesday's second limited-overs international at the Sydney Cricket Ground to square the best-of-three series at 1-1.
Mills smashed four successive sixes on his way to 44 not out as New Zealand's tail threatened to grab victory from under the world champions' noses.
Australia's victory ensured the inaugural Chappell-Hadlee series would be decided at Brisbane on Friday after they lost the first match in Melbourne on Sunday by four wickets.
"It was a lot closer than I thought it was going to be," said Australian captain Ricky Ponting. "I suppose I could have brought the fast bowlers on a bit earlier."
Australia recovered from a middle-order batting collapse to post 261 for seven from their 50 overs then dismissed the Kiwis for 244 in the 48th over.
New Zealand looked out of the game when they slumped to 86 for six before the tail fought a rearguard action. It ended when Chris Harris, who dislocated his shoulder while fielding and came in at number 11, was bowled by Glenn McGrath for four.
"We didn't start the game well," said New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming. "They got too far ahead.
"We finished the second half well but you have to start better than that if you want to win."
A dashing 60 by Adam Gilchrist laid the foundations for Australia's total while Darren Lehmann (52) and man of the match Brad Hogg (41 not out) provided the finishing touches after New Zealand had put the brakes on the scoring.
The Kiwis captured five wickets for just 21 runs to reduce Australia to 161 for six in the 31st over but a 74-run partnership between Lehmann and Hogg swung the match back in Australia's favour.
Gilchrist, who scored 68 in Melbourne, was in a typically aggressive mood, raced to his half-century off 37 balls and also struck nine boundaries as the Australian run-rate briefly climbed to nine runs an over.
He eventually was caught in the deep by Nathan Astle, but Ponting and Matthew Hayden kept the scoreboard ticking along with a second-wicket stand of 54.
There were some brief signs of panic among the Australian batsmen when Ponting (32), Hayden (43), Damien Martyn (five), Andrew Symonds (no score) and Michael Clarke (six) fell in rapid succession before Lehmann and Hogg steadied the innings.
New Zealand needed to set a record for a team batting second at Sydney to win and their hopes were immediately dashed when the top order was placed under pressure by the pace trio of McGrath, Jason Gillespie and Brett Lee.
Only Fleming (34) offered any real resistance before Cairns mounted a comeback by slamming 50 from just 40 deliveries and his performance inspired the tail enders.
Daniel Vettori and Mills then combined in a 70-run ninth-wicket partnership off 51 balls that was ended, and with it New Zealand's hopes, when Vettori was run out for 33.
Extras (lb-2 w-2 nb-8) 12
Total (for seven wickets, 50 overs) 261
Did not bat: J.Gillespie, G.McGrath
Fall of wickets: 1-86 2-140 3-147 4-148 5-148 6-161 7-235
Bowling: Mills 10-0-49-2 (w-1 nb-3), Oram 10-0-77-0 (nb-3), Cairns 10-0-60-1 (nb-2), Styris 10-0-37-1, Vettori 10-1-36-1 (w-1)
Extras (lb-5 w-6 nb-3) 14
Total (all out, 47.1 overs) 244
Fall of wickets: 1-27 2-63 3-68 4-78 5-84 6-86 7-154 8-166 9-236 10-244
Bowling: McGrath 7.1-0-27-1, Lee 9-0-48-2 (w-4 nb-3), Gillespie 10-1-41-2 (w-2), Symonds 10-1-47-1, Hogg 8-0-45-3, Lehmann 3-0-31-0
Result: Australia won by 17 runs