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Australia lose ODI series, maybe No.1 in New Zealand

Australia lose ODI series, maybe No.1 in New Zealand

Published Date: 05 Feb 2017 | Update : 05 Feb 2017
Australia have relinquished the Chappell-Hadlee trophy and potentially the No.1 ODI ranking, with Mitchell Starc unable to save his batsmen’s blushes in a dramatic 24-run defeat to New Zealand in Hamilton. Starc finished 29 not out as Australia were rolled for 257, suffering a 2-0 series loss after Trent Boult claimed career-best figures of 6-33 in front of a sold-out crowd at Seddon Park. Starc and Pat Cummins shared a six-laden partnership worth 51 runs. Australia’s victory equation had been 33 runs required from 33 balls with three wickets in hand prior to Cummins’ dismissal. Boult was the home side’s ice-cool finisher, removing Cummins, Adam Zampa and Josh Hazlewood to be man-of-the-match. The understrength tourists, who were minus Test squad members Steve Smith, David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Mitch Marsh and Matthew Wade, did well to restrict NZ to 9-281. The hosts were 2-176 in the 32nd over, well placed to post a far more imposing target as Ross Taylor marched towards a record-equalling 16th ODI ton. Australia’s batsmen, who suffered a collapse of 6-58 in the Auckland series opener, were again guilty of handing over cheap wickets. The side’s capacity to lose wickets in quick succession has been an issue in recent years – no matter the format, conditions or country they’re visiting. The Hamilton locals, many of whom no doubt recalled Australia losing 8-97 and a tense ODI series decider last year, watched another example. It was far from the worst. Stand-in skipper Aaron Finch and young gun Travis Head both passed 50 and looked capable of steering Australia to victory prior to needless dismissals. Finch and Head were both caught in the deep. The former tried to hammer Kane Williamson’s part-time offspin for a second six, the latter mistimed an attempt to pull a rising delivery from Boult. Marcus Stoinis, who went within a whisker of snatching victory at Eden Park with an unbeaten 146, fell on 42 to Mitch Santner’s left-arm spin. Santner had figures of 2-19 before Starc and Cummins tonked 31 runs from his final two overs. The 2-0 ODI series loss means South Africa have the chance to grab top spot on the International Cricket Council’s one-day charts if they complete a 5-0 series victory over Sri Lanka. The Proteas currently lead 3-0 following a seven-wicket triumph in Johannesburg on Saturday. NZ regained the trans-Tasman piece of silverware they handed over meekly in December. The defeat comes as the remaining members of Australia’s 16-man Test squad prepare to depart for a training camp in Dubai before their four-match series in India. Dubai-bound duo Peter Handscomb and Glenn Maxwell were both out without scoring. Shaun Marsh, who will be in the mix for a Test recall in Pune on February 23, started brightly but was run out by Santner on 22. Handscomb chopped on two balls later. The wicket of Finch was followed by that of Maxwell six balls later. Maxwell instantaneously and unsuccessfully reviewed his caught-behind verdict, having attempted to cut Santner. Taylor equalled Nathan Astle’s national record for most ODI centuries with his knock of 107. -AAP

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