Thursday, 13 June 2013

NZ v Aus- Trans Tasman clash

New Zealand and Australia have a history of stepping it up a level when they play against each other and Kyle Mills predicted a 'ding dong' battle at Edgbaston.

Australia won the toss and elected to bat. We were treated to scenes of the Australian dressing room- covered in posters of great Aussie cricketers, and the New Zealand dressing room, understated and bare.

And so it started as Mills foretold.

 Mills opened the bowling and had a good first over before handing the ball to McClenaghan, who struck a short time later getting Watson to edge one to Ronchi for 5.
Two overs later McClenaghan struck again, assisted by a catlike Guptill in the field, effecting a brilliant underarm direct hit to run Hughes out without scoring.

Of course the news overshadowing the match was all about Warner and what he did to get stood down from the match. Unfortunately all the discussion on social media was about that and the tv commentators had to keep referring back to it as well.

Australia's third wicket fell as Wade was caught LBW off Nathan McCullum for 29 off 57 balls. McCullum also claimed the fourth by clean bowling Bailey for 55 as he looked to work one away to leg.
It was a change from the previous match against SL as New Zealand bowled 30 overs of spin. This turned into a high workload for Vettori who was as penurious as we remember him, conceding only 23 runs off his 10 overs.

It wasn't long before McClenaghan was back in the wickets, remarked on by the commentary team as 'he has a habit of taking wickets'  He skittled Marsh with a high edge catch to Ronchi, and had a dangerous looking Voges caught by his captain at mid wicket.

At 200/6 Australia had two new batsmen at the crease, until McClenaghan was involved in another dismissal, catching Faulkner off Kane Williamson for 6 off 12 balls.
 Then came the battle that many were waiting for. Mitchell Johnson versus Mitchell McClenaghan.
Johnson had his way with a couple of quick boundaries before Mitchell of the more popular hair do got his wicket with a deceptively slower ball at 102km that was edged straight to McCullum.
There was a late flourish from Australia as Maxwell got them to 243/8, contributing 29* himself.

From the New Zealand innings, the national expectation of Guptill was sizeable. After back to back centuries earlier, the same dish had been ordered from the caterers. It wasn't to be, however, as Guptill was the first wicket; hitting McKay to point to be caught by Maxwell. His contribution was 8 off 13 balls. Ronchi edged one to Watson at 4th slip a short time later, again off McKay after adding 14 runs off 17 balls.

This left Williamson and Taylor at the crease as dark clouds threatened overhead. New Zealand got to 51/2 before the umpires called for the covers and the hovercraft was brought out to the middle. Because only 15 overs had been completed and the grounds could not be sufficiently dried in time to continue the match, the decision was taken to abandon play.

Both teams take one point from the match- leaving New Zealand with 3 points and Australia one.
New Zealand's bowlers had another good session, in particular McClenaghan and Vettori, but there is plenty of opportunity there too. McKay bowled well for Australia, but the top order batsmen struggled with footwork and looked at sea.

There will be homework to complete for both sides before they meet their next opponents, in order to ensure they continue their Champions Trophy quest.

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