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Sunday, February 18, 2007

More woe as Australia unable to defend 336 against NZ

After today's game in Auckland, NZ should be over the moon, Australia very worried, and the rest of the cricketing world indulging in a spot of schadenfreude.

Australia's 4/336 from 50 overs (Michael Hussey 105/ 84b, Brad Hodge 97 no/86b) seemed a winning score, even to the local radio commentators, though their tune started to change as the Black Caps reached 2/102 from 98b. The third wicket fell at 113/118b when Peter Fulton joined Ross Taylor to keep the momentum going with a 115/116b partnership, which ended at 228 when Ross Taylor went for 117/127b.

At this point the target was still formidable: 107 from 75b, but NZ had wickets in hand. Craig McMillan rode his luck (dropped in the outfield and caught off a no ball) to biff 52 from 30b as he added 85 in 46b with Fulton. From 5/313 it was relatively easy progress to a 5 wicket win with 8 balls to spare.


The Chappell - Hadlee series is now dead, and Australia seems to have lost the knack of winning for the moment. Its attack is a major concern as the bowlers have taken only 5/485 from 455 (legitimate) balls. Fortunately for them they have several warm up games to lift their game before the serious World Cup business starts. Of course, after the results of the last few days both England and NZ will be much more confident themselves.

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