Champions Trophy 2017 | Australia and New Zealand split points as rain plays spoilsport

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Champions Trophy 2017 | Australia and New Zealand split points as rain plays spoilsport

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SportsCafe Desk

06/02/2017

In a rain-affected game in  Birmingham, Australia and New Zealand had to split points after the minimum overs could not be completed. The Kiwis looked to be in the driving seat, with the Aussies reeling at 53/3 while chasing a revised score of 246 in 33 overs when play was eventually called off.

Brief Scores: New Zealand 291/10 (46 overs) (Kane Williamson 100, Luke Ronchi 65; Josh Hazlewood 6/52, John Hastings 2/69), Australia 53/3 (Moises Henriques 18, Steve Smith 8*; Adam Milne 2/9, Trent Boult 1/28) - No result, match abandoned. 

Winning the toss, Kane Williamson surprised everyone when he said that he wanted to bat first. Steve Smith claimed that had he won the toss he would have opted to field first with John Hastings, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, and Josh Hazlewood all in the team.

The Luke Ronchi Show

Contrary to popular belief, it was Williamson’s decision that proved to be the right one as Martin Guptill and Luke Ronchi started off with a bang, scoring freely to take the score 38 off just five overs. Even though Hazlewood got the better of Guptill, the incoming Williamson made sure Australia were not breathing easy. With nine overs done, Australia were offered a respite when rain decided to play spoilsport as the scoreboard reflected 67/1 after 9.3 overs. After over an hour’s delay, the game was reduced to 46 overs, but the Kiwis, Ronchi in particular, came out all guns blazing, bringing up his half century in the 14th over, off just 33 balls, and his team’s century in the next over, by Pat Cummins, that yielded 15 runs. However, his risky style of play proved to be his undoing as he could only find the hands of Maxwell at point off a Hastings delivery. Williamson and Ross Taylor made sure that the Kiwis reached the 25 over mark with the score at 158/2

Hazlewood brings Australia back into the game

The Kiwi duo decided to slow things down so as not to put too much pressure on the dodgy middle order while ensuring the bad balls found their way to the boundary. Taylor, especially, was restraining from going after the bowling, scoring at a strike rate of under 80 before he was dismissed by Hastings for 46. With 10 overs left and the score at 218/3, Williamson decided it was time to attack the bowlers and he brought up his century by scoring 26 off two consecutive Hastings overs. On the first ball of the 40th over, however, he was gone and it was the required foothold that the Aussies needed. Over the next five overs, it was the Hazlewood show as the Aussie pacer dismissed Neesham (6), Milne (8), Santner (8), and Boult (0), to restrict their Trans-Tasman rivals to 291 in the 46 overs.

Kiwis put Aussies on the ropes but rain ensures split points

Bad light and rain brought the game to a standstill for the second time in the day and Australia were handed a revised target of 246 in 33 overs when play resumed. Needing to score at over seven runs an over, the Aussies knew they needed to get off to a good start to have a chance of chasing down the score. However, they lost both the openers, David Warner and Aaron Finch, in the first seven overs and allowed the Kiwis to take complete control of the game. The incoming Moises Henriques signalled his intent early as he hit four quick boundaries, but soon after he hit the ball straight at Adam Milne with the scoreboard showing 53/3 after 9 overs. As the New Zealand players got together to celebrate, they were joined by another shower and the game was interrupted for the third time.

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