Martin Guptill's 11th ODI century wasn't enough for the BLACKCAPS to overhaul Australia's 324 run target in the first Chappell-Hadlee ODI at the SCG in Sydney on Sunday.
The opener struck six sixes and 10 fours in his 114 run knock from 102 balls, but despite assistance from Colin Munro (49) and James Neesham (34) the visitors came up 68 runs short.
Earlier Australian captain Steve Smith struck the highest One Day score at the SCG of 164 to set up the imposing total.
New Zealand Xl: Latham, Guptill, Williamson (c), Neesham, Munro, de Grandhomme, Watling, Santner, Henry, Ferguson, BoultAustralia Xl: Warner, Finch, Smith (c),Bailey, Head, M Marsh, Wade (wk), Cummins, Starc, Zampa, Hazlewood
ODI Debutant #190
SCG - not a bad venue to start your international career. Lockie Ferguson became the 190th New Zealander to represent the BLACKCAPS in an ODI and made an eventful start in the black uniform. His first ball was slammed down the ground for four, his second was 150.4kmph and his final delivery brought about his first wicket - and not a bad one in David Warner. He like the rest of the bowlers went for some tap from Smith, but showed plenty of talent in his nine overs.
Aaron Finch played on to depart for a golden duck, the debutant had got rid of Warner and Jimmy Neesham had a hand in sending both George Bailey and Mitchell Marsh on their way. Having lost the toss on what looked a great batting deck, the BLACKCAPS had reduced Australia to 92-4 and had the hosts under significant pressure.
A bit sloppy
No-balls and dropped catches (also known as coach killers) are both ways to release the pressure valve on the opposition and the BLACKCAPS committed both these crimes multiple times. In terms of spilled chances, BJ Watling grassed a tough one down leg, Henry gave Travis Head a life and Colin Munro put one down off Smith late in the innings. Throw in a missed chance to review an lbw decision against Smith and there’s a few hypotheticals that the BLACKCAPS may ponder on reflection.
Make no bones about it - a special innings from the Australian captain. The highest ODI score at the SCG, the highest by an Australian captain and at the end of the day a match winning knock. Played with control and showed impressive power in the closing stages of the innings. Hats off.
Happy hunting for Hazlewood
In Tom Latham and Kane Williamson, Josh Hazlewood removed two key cogs in the BLACKCAPS batting line-up for a combined total of 11. With Latham playing on and Williamson edging to first-slip, Hazlewood had made a tough challenge verge on impossible. Finished with impressive figures of 3-49. Always a menace who loves a good snarl!
Guptill gets going
The number five ranked ODI batsman in the world showed some individual brilliance on his way to his 11th 50 over century. Initially measured in his approach, Guptill brought up 50 off 55 balls, but picked up his pace considerably for the next 50 as he posted three figures at better than a run a ball. Also became just the fifth New Zealand to pass 5000 ODI runs and he achieved it the fastest totalling just 132 innings, beating Ross Taylor's previous record of 144.
Smith’s night gets better
We are reluctant to continue complimenting the Australian captain, but it would be remiss of us not to mention his catch to dismiss BJ Watling. The BLACKCAPS keeper made solid contact on his slash through gully-point, but Smith launched himself sideways at incredible speed to nab a one-handed stunner. It was a good catch, we’ll leave it at that.
Asking too much
While the Guptill-Neesham and Guptill-Munro partnerships kept the BLACKCAPS in the game, the required-run-rate steadily climbed and eventually became too much as wickets fell at both ends. It certainly wasn't through a lack of effort but hunting down 300+ scores takes high tempo batting the whole way through an innings and the BLACKCAPS just could not maintain it. Colin Munro also struggled to maintain his bats, breaking two in his innings including snapping one in half on impact from a Pat Cummins delivery.
The BLACKCAPs travel to Canberra on Monday and will have the opportunity to level the series on Tuesday. Retaining the Chappell-Hadlee will depend on it.