Australia overcome Vettori onslaught to level series
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter
DateLine: 6th March 2010
The Australian side led by Ricky Ponting showed as to why they are regarded the best in the one-dayers as they levelled the series. Australia had set a challenging total of 274 in 50 overs before a short and annoying passing shower reduced the Kiwi target to 266. New Zealand had slumped to 131 for 6 before Vettori and the tailenders staged a remarkable comeback. But unlike last time the Australian bowlers this time kept their nerve as they were able to pick up timely wickets as well as restrict the flow of runs. New Zealand were finally all-out for 253 in 43.2 overs.
Ponting on winning the toss elected to bat first and once again the openers Watson (47, 48b, 1x6, 7x4) and Brad Haddin (53, 62b, 3x6, 3x4) put the Australian bowlers to the sword. Though the visitors lost their way in the middle White (54, 60b, 3x6, 1x4) and Hussey (56, 63b, 1x6, 4x4) made sure that the Australian side was heading towards the right direction. Hopes (29, 24b, 3x4) and Johnson (16, 13b, 1x4) made sure that Australia posted a healthy total of 273 in 50 overs for the loss of seven wickets.
McCullum (24, 16b, 2x6, 3x4) once again attacked from the word go as the Australian bowlers found out that the margin for error was next to nothing. But that counterattacking innings was the only positive note at the top of the order as Harris, Watson and Johnson ripped apart the top and the middle order.
The Kiwis were reeling at 131 for 6 in 26.2 overs before Vettori took the matters into his own hands. The skipper improvised as he stepped back to thwack the ball through the covers as well as moved across his stumps to nudge the ball behind the square. With 13 needed of 11 balls, Vettori once again moved across his stumps to play the ball into the fine-leg region only to be cleaned up by an accurate Harris.
Australia thus levelled the series with three more matches remaining.
(Article: Copyright © 2010 Cricket Scotland http://www.cricketeurope.org/SCOTLAND/home.shtml)