Rachin Ravindra’s explosive century and James Neesham’s death over striking went in vain as New Zealand failed to chase down 389 runs set by Australia, losing by just five runs in their ICC Cricket World Cup match at Dharamshala on Saturday.
Australia is at fourth spot, with four wins and two losses in six matches, a total of eight points. NZ is at the third spot with the same win-loss record and points, but they have a better net run rate.
In the chase of 389 runs, New Zealand openers Will Young and Devon Conway put the Kiwis to a solid start. The duo played some attacking shots and batting with the run rate required for such a chase. The 50-run mark was up for NZ in 5.1 overs.
Josh Hazlewood managed to draw the first blood, removing Conway for 28 off 17 balls, with six fours. Kiwis were 61/0 in 7.2 overs with the help of a catch by Mitchell Starc at short fine leg.
Hazlewood once again struck, removing Young for 32 in 37 balls, with four boundaries and a six. NZ was 72/2 in 9.4 overs.
At the end of the powerplay, the Kiwis were 73/2 in 10 overs.
Daryl Mitchell and Rachin Ravindra stabilised the innings, displaying a solid temperament. 100-run was up for NZ in 13.4 overs. A fifty-run stand was up between the duo in 46 balls.
Mitchell reached another half-century in this tournament in 42 balls, with six fours and a six.
New Zealand reached the 150-run mark in 21.3 overs and they were pretty much matching the tempo of their rivals.
The 96-run partnership between Mitchell and Ravindra was ended by spinner Adam Zampa, with Starc taking another catch to remove Mitchell for 54 off 51 balls, with six fours and a six. NZ was 168/3 in 24 overs.
Ravindra carried on Kiwis fight with skipper Tom Latham. Ravindra reached his half-century in 49 balls, with four boundaries and a six.
Kiwis reached the 200-run mark in 29.2 overs, needing just 189 runs to win.
The 54-run stand between Latham and Ravindra was over as Zampa removed Latham for 21 off 22 balls. NZ was 222/4 in 31.2 overs at that point.
The explosive Glenn Phillips joined Ravindra out in the middle and NZ reached 250-run mark in 35.5 overs.
Ravindra reached his second century of the tournament in 77 balls, with seven fours and five sixes.
But before Phillips could do much damage, Glenn Maxwell removed him for just 12. NZ was 265/5 in 37 overs.
Skipper Pat Cummins brought back the Aussies in the game, removing Ravindra for 116 in 89 balls, with Labuschagne taking a catch at long off. The all-rounder’s knock had nine fours and five sixes. NZ was 293/6 in 40.2 overs.
New Zealand was pretty much in the game, reaching the 300-run mark in 41.4 overs.
Zampa and Marcus Stoinis dismissed Mitchell Santner (17) and Matt Henry (9), keeping Australia in the game while James Neesham raged at the other end. Kiwis were 346/8 in 46.4 overs.
Neesham and Trent Boult brought Kiwis to a reaching distance of a win, with 19 needed in final over. Neesham had also hit his half-century in 33 balls, with three fours and three sixes.
However, with seven runs needed in two balls, Neesham was run out for 58 in 39 balls, with four boundaries and four sixes. NZ was 383/9 in 49.5 overs, with six needed on one ball. However, NZ fell five runs short of a win.
Adam Zampa (3/74) was the pick of the bowlers for Australia. Hazlewood and Cummins got two wickets each, while Maxwell got one wicket.
Earlier, David Warner’s fifty, Travis Head’s thunderous century and late brutal hitting from Josh Inglis and Pat Cummins powered Australia to 388 against New Zealand in their ICC World Cup match here at Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium on Saturday.
Head and Warner both shone with the bat, scoring 109 and 81 respectively, while Glenn Maxwell (41), Inglis (38) and captain Cummins (37) contributed outstandingly to help five-time champions post 388 against arch-rival New Zealand.
Glenn Phillips and Trent Boult scalped three wickets hauls, helping New Zealand script a fine comeback to bundle out Australia.
Put to bat first, Australia openers David Warner and Travis Head gave their team a fiery and solid start. The duo hammered New Zealand bowlers all around the ground while hitting big shots.
Head returned from a fractured hand that kept him out of the first five matches of this World Cup with a furious century off just 59 balls, Australia’s third-fastest World Cup century.
Head’s intentions were announced with an aerial off-drive for four off the third ball he faced. Then, in the third over, Matt Henry gave him two easy shots, each of which he cleared the front leg and pulled over midwicket for sixes.
Australia achieved the third-highest 10-over score in ODIs when ball-by-ball statistics are available, with Warner virtually matching him shot for shot – only the second time two openers have struck 50 inside 30 balls.
Warner fell short of a century when he hit a return catch to Glenn Phillips, but Head maintained his focus. He was eventually bowled off a straighter one from Phillips for 109 off 67, having struck seven sixes and ten fours and setting Australia on their path to a big total.
After removing two well-set openers New Zealand pulled back things beautifully as Australia kept losing wickets occasionally. However, Josh Inglis and Glenn Maxwell quickly got a top hand on Kiwi bowlers.
James Neesham provided his team with a massive breakthrough as he removed hard-hitting batter Maxwell for 41. The duo smoked Neesham for 27 runs in the 48th over with the help of four maximums.
New Zealand made a fine comeback in the 49th over Trent Boult gave five-time champions a double blow as he removed well-set batter Inglis and Cummins for 38 and 37.
Matt Henry then bagged his first wicket of the match and bundled out Australia for 388 in 49.2 overs.
Brief score: Australia 388 (Travis Head 109, David Warner 81; Glenn Phillips 3-37) vs New Zealand.
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