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Australia quell Kiwi dash
January 28, 2007 19:08 IST
Australia held on to beat New Zealand by just eight runs in a high-scoring tri-series one-day international featuring three centuries at the WACA on Sunday.
Ricky Ponting and Matthew Hayden both smashed hundreds in Australia's massive record total of 343 for five before Jacob Oram chalked up the fastest one-day ton by a New Zealander to take his team to 335-5.
New Zealand fell just short of their victory target but their performance was a timely confidence boost ahead of their next match against England on Tuesday.
Ponting belted 111 off 122 balls in a flawless perfomance that earned him the man-of-the-match award while Hayden made 117 from 111 deliveries as Australia set a record for the highest one-day total at the WACA on a scorching hot day when the temperatures exceedeed 41 degrees Celsius.
The pair shared a 200-run partnership for the second wicket after Adam Gilchrist departed cheaply for 13 before Mike Hussey (29 not out), Andrew Symonds (24) and Cameron White (20 not out) piled on 100 runs from the last 10 overs to take the Australian total soaring past 300.
Ponting struck eight boundaries and a six in a superb innings to chalk up his 21st one-day international ton, while Hayden rode his luck after being dropped on nought, four and 79 to bring up his sixth one-day hundred in an innings that featured 15 fours.
He was eventually bowled by Daniel Vettori, who had dropped him before he had got off the mark, while Ponting was caught in the deep by Peter Fulton.
Michael Clarke made just seven before the late flurry from Symonds, Hussey and White, who hit six sixes between them, gave Australia the extra runs which ultimately proved decisive.
New Zealand made a strong start to their reply with opener Lou Vincent blasting 62 off 88 balls before he was unluckily given out lbw to Clarke, while Stephen Fleming (28), Fulton (23) and Ross Taylor (39) all made valuable runs.
Their chances of getting close to Australia's total looked doomed when they slumped to 198-5 before Oram and Brendon McCullum (46 not out) piled on 137 without loss in less than 15 overs to set up a thrilling finish that was interruped by a half-hour rain delay.
Oram smashed four fours and six sixes to reach his hundred off just 71 balls and eclipse the New Zealand record of 75 balls for the fastest century, jointly held by Chris Cairns and Craig McMillan, before they ran out of overs.