|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Hussey steers Australia to victory
January 21, 2007 17:53 IST
Michael Clarke and Mike Hussey both benefited from missed chances to score half-centuries in Australia's two-wicket victory over New Zealand in the fifth tri-series one-day international on Sunday.
Clarke was dropped twice in his 75 and Hussey escaped a run out chance in an unbeaten 65 that guided Australia to their victory target of 219 with eight balls to spare.
Australia's win was their fourth from as many matches in the triangular competition that includes England and left New Zealand winless after the games.
New Zealand got themselves into a position to threaten Australia but squandered their chance with sloppy fielding.
Craig McMillan smashed 89 with the bat to help the Kiwis recover from a disastrous start and post a respectable score of 218 before the bowlers ripped through the Australian order to leave the world champions reeling at 77-4.
Clarke was dropped by James Franklin on 16 then again by Brendon McCullum on 42 while Hussey should have been run out on 18 when he was short of his ground but Daniel Vettori dropped the incoming throw and broke the stumps with his hand.
Both players made the New Zealanders pay for their missed opportunities by completing half-centuries and sharing a 90-run partnership that turned the match back Australia's way.
Clarke struck nine boundaries in his 11-ball innings before his luck ran out when Ross Taylor took a juggled catch at midwicket while Hussey showed why is regarded as the bets finisher in the game with another superb display.
Hussey's 65 came off 73 balls and featured nine boundaries a and a massive six off Nathan Astle that sealed Australia's victory when they only needed a single to win.
New Zealand were in danger of finishing with a much lower score after losing their first two wickets before the total had reached double figures then slumping to 136-7 in the 37th over before McMillan began his rescue mission.
McMillan, whose international career seemed over when he lost his New Zealand contract last year, slammed seven fours and three sixes in a superb display of power-hitting to post his third highest score in one-day internationals.
He shared a 56-run partnership with Franklin (18) but played a virtual lone hand with Taylor (26) the only other players to make more than 20.
Stuart Clark captured four wickets to finish with career-best figures for Australia while Glenn McGrath bagged three, Brett Lee two and Nathan Bracken one.
Australia's top-order also collapsed with Adam Gilchrist (three), Matthew Hayden (no score) and Ricky Ponting (five) all falling cheaply.
Australia were still in danger when Andrew Symonds fell for 38 before Clarke and Hussey got them out of trouble.
The next game of the series is at Adelaide on Tuesday when New Zealand play England. Australia's next match is against Enland on Friday.