Friday, February 6, 2009

AUSTRALIA VS NEWZELAND 2nd ODI:New Zealand beats Australia to lead series 2-0

New Zealand beat Australia by six wickets in the second one day international of the Richard Hadlee Trophy to take itself just one victory away from clinching the five-match ODI series.All the top Kiwi batsmen scored runs chasing Australia’s 225. However Grant Elliott’s unbeaten 61, which included the winning boundary, was the highest contribution from the team.Elliott was well complimented by opener Brendon McCullum (43) and fellow middle-order batsman Ross Taylor (47) as the visitors reached their target with seven balls to spare at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.The visitors needed 56 runs to win from the final 10 overs of the match with seven wickets in hand. After Taylor departed in the 42 nd over, Neil Broom (26*) partnered Elliott to lead the Kiwis to their second successive victory in as many games against the Australians.James Hopes was the pick of the Australian bowlers with figures of 2-30 from 10 overs. However, the Australians were not able to defend their paltry total of 228.

With this loss, Australia concedes its second-rank to India at the top of the ICC rank table. They now move down to third position.Earlier in the day, Michael Clarke – who prior to this match had an unbeaten record as skipper – took over the reins of the team in Ricky Ponting’s absence and elected to bat after winning the toss.Kyle Mills struck in the third over of the day to dismiss opener David Warner (2), who has not been able to justify his place at the top of the order yet.Clarke, who was opening the innings in place of the injured Shaun Marsh, was the only Australian batsman who managed to show resistance to the consistent Kiwi bowlers.At 63-3, Australia looked in dire straits with Brad Haddin (12) and David Hussey (10) back in the pavilion.However, a 133-run partnership for the fourth wicket between Clarke and Michael Hussey revived the hosts chances of putting up a big score. Both batsmen fell in the final few overs in an attempt to accelerate the run-rate.But neither Clarke’s 98 nor Hussey’s 75 was enough to put up a competitive total on the board as Australia could only manage 225 at the end of its 50 overs.

Iain OBrien was the pick of the Kiwi bowlers with figures of 2-48 from 10 overs while Kyle Mills and Tim Southee contributed with one wicket each.The third match between these two teams will be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground on February 8.

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