Australia take the title with six wicket win

Australia have successfully defended the ICC Champions Trophy after chasing down the BLACKCAPS total of 200 at Centurion.

The six wicket win was set up by a their front line seamers who restricted New Zealand to a modest total and then finished off with an unbeaten century by Shane Watson.

The BLACKCAPS started strongly in defence of the small total with Shane Bond getting rid of opener Tim Paine and Kyle Mills trapping the dangerous Ricky Ponting LBW to have the Australians reeling at six for two.

They kept the pressure on bowling by an immaculate line and length with Watson and Cameron White stuttering through to 18 for two after ten overs.

But they patiently saw off the opening bowlers and slowly build a partnership that shifted the momentum back in favour of Australia.

Mills came back into the attack and immediately got the break through, bowling White for 62 and then snared Michael Hussey for 11 but it was too little too late as Australia knocked off the remaining runs with more than four overs to spare.

Watson was the stand out batsman lashing 105 not out including ten fours and two sixes

Mills was the best of the BLACKCAPS attack finishing with stunning figures of three for 27 including two maidens.  Bond was also impressive with one for 34 off his ten.

Earlier, the BLACKCAPS struggled against a disciplined Australian bowling attack with stand in captain Brendon McCullum out for a 14 ball duck.  The side then struggled with the pace, bounce and swing of the Australian quicks.

The first ten over yielding only 22 runs but Aaron Redmond and Martin Guptill managed to weather the storm from the seamers, providing some stability to the innings. 

However, it was the spin of Nathan Hauritz that broke the 61 run partnership, having Redmond stumped for 26 and he soon had his second when he caught Guptill of his own bowling for 40.

The wickets kept tumbling with Ross Taylor the next to go for 6 and then Grant Elliott for 9 with the BLACKCAPS in all sorts of trouble at 94 for five.

It was left to Neil Broom and James Franklin to hold the innings together.  Runs didn’t come easily as they defended their wickets and eked out the odd single but a couple of fruitful powerplay overs got the score moving.

Unfortunately the 65 run partnership was cut short by a mix up that lead to Broom being run out and on 37 with Franklin bowled shortly after for 33 to have the BLACKCAPS teetering on 159 for six.

Butler was trapped LBW for 6 handing Hauritz his third wicket with Kyle Mills run out for 12.

A valuable 16 from Jeetan Patel helped as the team staggered through to 200.

The BLACKCAPS have been hampered by injuries throughout the tournament and sorely missed the batting and bowing of their inspirational captain Daniel Vettori.  Vettori who was averaging 50 with the bat and 17.71 with the ball bowling was ruled out with a hamstring injury before the start of play.


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