Hayden powers Australia to a big win
Australia 314 for 6 (Hayden 114, Martyn 58, Ponting 53) beat New Zealand 208 (Vettori 83, Symonds 3-41) by 106 runs
Matthew Hayden's return-to-form hundred and Adam Gilchrist's hands secured Australia a 2-0 series lead with a crushing victory at Christchurch. Gilchrist became the first wicketkeeper to take 300 ODI catches as New Zealand crashed to a desperate 73 for 6, and eventually lost by 106 runs.
None of Gilchrist's catches was difficult but it was a collection as valuable as his team-mates' bowling. Brett Lee and Glenn McGrath again performed in tandem with two early wickets each before Andrew Symonds added three with his mixture of spin and seam. It was an accomplished performance set up by Hayden as he exited the batting wilderness that had been his home for most of the summer.
New Zealand's glimmer of hope in both innings was Daniel Vettori. As his frontline mates were being taken for at least six an over, Vettori gave away only 31 in ten overs, and followed it by smashing a career-best 83 off 77 balls. Before the match his high watermark was 33, but he belted the fast men down the ground and slow bowlers square in a performance to embarrass his batsmen.
A player with a Test hundred, he was in reach of a one-day century too when he picked out Simon Katich at deep square leg (208 for 9). The best of the rest were the 22s of Chris Cairns and Jeff Wilson, who had an awful bowling return in his first one-day match in almost 12 years.
New Zealand were in trouble from Lee's opening deliveries, and were knocked over with an amazing 9.3 overs to spare. It is a hiding that Stephen Fleming's men must recover from by the third match at Auckland on Saturday or they will forfeit the series. "To win three in a row is not impossible," said Fleming, "but we've got to up the ante."
Lee struck fifth ball with a short one that Fleming tried to cut, and McGrath broke through in the sixth over when Nathan Astle edged an attempted drive (12 for 2). Battling for quick runs to keep up with an escalating required rate, Mathew Sinclair bravely lofted McGrath for two boundaries. His punishment was an outswinger from Lee and another Gilchrist celebration (28 for 3). Gilchrist's 300th catch came when Hamish Marshall cut at McGrath, and he added Craig McMillan when he charged at Symonds (72 for 5).
Force seemed the best to way to get New Zealand out of trouble, and Cairns warmed up with three fours and a pulled six off McGrath until Hayden broke Gilchrist's sequence. Rushing towards the swipe off Symonds, Hayden held it as he dived, injuring his shoulder and leaving the ground (73 for 6). It ended his match participation and he could not accept the Man-of-the-Match award.
Dumped earlier this month, Hayden is again a fixture in the side. He worked hard to regain his control over the bowlers but succeeded in pinning 114 to his 71 in the first match at Wellington. Hayden looked uncomfortable in the early stages when he tried to blast his way into perfect touch, but once he settled he was happy to wait for the big shots and take singles in between.
Hayden allowed himself a hard fist-punch and a smirk to Damien Martyn on reaching his fifth century, but showed no other emotion. It was a pleasing innings that he will not boast about. Having clattered 12 fours and two sixes and shared a 133-run stand with Martyn, he swatted Kyle Mills to Jeff Wilson at deep square leg (237 for 4).
Until then Wilson had experienced a horrible comeback on the way to giving up 57 off six overs. He also dropped Hayden shortly after his century, but collected another fine running catch on the point boundary to dismiss Symonds (254 for 5).
The Australian batsmen had no trouble against any bowler except Vettori. Cairns, playing his 200th ODI for New Zealand, and Kyle Mills went for 62 off 10 while Daryl Tuffey allowed 73 in eight. Like Ricky Ponting, Martyn also fell to a run-out once he had swept to a sweet half-century.
Michael Clarke (23 off 13 balls) and Mike Hussey, who reached 32 off 20 deliveries in his second match, made sure Australia passed the 300 mark with fierce strokeplay. Hussey's excellent innings included a last-ball six and was confused by Billy Bowden's decision to disallow one of his singles for running a couple of steps down the middle of the pitch. Australia had already been warned for not getting off the wicket, and Hussey was slapped with the penalty.
It was the only thing that went wrong for Australia. Tuffey removed Gilchrist with the second ball, but apart from Vettori's allround performance Fleming had nothing to be happy about.