Martin marks return with treble

Chris Martin took three wickets on his BLACKCAPS return in the third and final Chappell-Hadlee Trophy series game at Jade Stadium, Christchurch.

Martin, playing his first One-Day International since February 2001, accounted for Simon Katich before taking Michael Clarke and Cameron White in successive balls.

Kyle Mills dismissed Adam Gilchrist for a duck and took three catches as Australia made 331 for seven from their 50 overs.

Michael Hussey top-scored for the visitors. His 88 not out came from 56 deliveries and included five sixes.

Stephen Fleming sat out the Australian innings as substitute, with Daniel Vettori continuing his able stewardship. The spinner recorded figures of two wickets for 37 from the maximum 10 overs after winning the toss and electing to field first.

The BLACKCAPS were given another flying start when Gilchrist again dismissed cheaply. The Australian vice-captain has endured a torrid series at the crease and lasted only three deliveries before being trapped lbw by Mills without scoring.

Ricky Ponting has grown accustomed to entering the fray early and was barely settled at the crease when Katich followed his opening partner back to the pavilion. Katich scored just two as he became Martin’s first international limited-overs victim in almost five years, Scott Styris’ catching at second slip.

Ponting was slow to start but soon got into his rhythm. The visiting captain required 77 from his innings to become Australia’s highest-ever run scorer in limited-overs internationals.

However, he was cut tantalisingly short of his target. Having helped his team weather a storm again, he was ruled out lbw to Vettori for 75, leaving him one short of Mark Waugh’s record.

His dismissal brought Andrew Symonds to the middle, but the hero of Wellington was brought down to earth with a bump.

His 156 was consigned to memory when he fell for a solitary run courtesy of well-planned, well-executed move by Vettori. The spinner enticed him into a shot over mid-off, but the field placing of the lofty Mills was shrewd and deliberate and his catch left Australia on 124 for four.

Michael Clarke, Symonds’ partner in their 220-run pairing in Wellington, came in to join Brad Hodge. Hodge collected his maiden One-Day half-century and added 50 more to the score with Clarke. But he was dispatched for 59, Mills again catching, this time from deep forward square leg from Styris’ bowling.

Clarke maintained his impressive form during the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy series with a second successive 50, coming from 61 deliveries, as he set off on another partnership with Hussey.

But Martin prospered in the 46th over, ending Clarke’s knock at 69 via Mills’ third catch before Vettori caught out White next ball.

However, Hussey was Australia’s dangerman this time. He closed the innings emphatically, his rapid scoring boosting Australia’s total. Nathan Bracken showed his promise as a tail-end batsman; contributing 21 not out to an unbeaten eighth-wicket stand of 72.

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