Friday, February 25, 2011

Australia vs. New Zealand

Australia 207 for 3 (Watson 62, Haddin 55) beat New Zealand 206 (Nathan 52, Vettori 44, Johnson 4-33, Tait 3-35) by 7 wickets

Brothers in arms ... the New Zealand and Australian teams came together in the innings break in a show of support for the memory of the victims of the Christchurch earthquake. (Getty Images: Hamish Blair)
This match would be played for the Chappell-Hadlee trophy due to both sides not playing each other this year; this is a real shame as being so close to one another it seems ridiculous that they don’t cross paths other than at a World Cup (but enough on ICC scheduling) New Zealand would have plenty of excuses for this game considering the circumstances currently in Christchurch, no excuses were made my Vettori as his bowlers gave up a mass of tasty balls to Haddin and Watson who obliged in playing them for 4.

Australia’s pace attack made a statement bowling sharp lines to dismiss New Zealand’s embarrassing top order batsmen, some of the deliveries didn't deserve wickets but New Zealand were in the mood for self-destruction. They handled the best bowler on view, Lee, with caution and gave him just one wicket but imploded against Tait and Johnson. That said it remains how the all-pace attack will fair against a better batting line-up, as Smith and Krezja leaked runs, Smith did pick up a wicket but his length was too full and in many ways helped Vettori hang around for as long as he did.

Despite the aggressive nature of the opening batsman who set-up the victory, Ponting was again scratchy at best and was stumped on a leg side wide for 10, Clarke was playing well but did show some soreness when playing shots. With a weeks break until the next game Australia will be looking into a few injuries including a replacement for Doug Bollinger who was sent home injured, also Ponting’s finger is still giving him issues in the field as was shown when he dived for ground balls.

Australia's players mingled with the Black Caps on the boundary during the innings break on Friday as both teams observed a minute's silence for the victims of the Christchurch earthquake.

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