Australia v New Zealand, Champions Trophy, final, Centurion October 4, 2009

Underdog tale reaches tough climax

60

Match facts

Monday, October 5, 2009
Start time 1430 (1230 GMT)

Big picture

Underdogs in films make a mockery of the form book. Exhibit 1: New Zealand come to the Champions Trophy, sans superstars, sans high ICC rankings, and after being well and truly battered for more than a month in the sapping heat of Sri Lanka. They are - it is fair to say - the outsiders in this tournament.

Underdogs in the movies start out of their depth, find the happy knack of winning, and then start liking what they feel. Exhibit 2: New Zealand are outclassed by South Africa on a true Centurion pitch. Then Sri Lanka, fooled by the earlier two pitches at the Wanderers, put New Zealand in, and discover they have given their opponents first use of a batting beauty. Against England, New Zealand get a spitting beauty of a pitch, call right at the toss, and run through the batting.

Underdogs in the movies are hit by injuries, handicaps, and miseries, but every setback inspires them. Exhibit 3: New Zealand lose Jacob Oram before their campaign starts. Jesse Ryder pulls his left abductor muscle during the Sri Lanka game, but before leaving plays the kind of innings that must have led to the coining of the phrase "beware the wounded batsman". Then Daryl Tuffey, at the time looking their best bowler, breaks his hand while fielding and is ruled out for the rest of the tournament. Next up, Grant Elliott, hero of the win against England, breaks his thumb, but braves the injury to score a heroic unbeaten 75 in the semi-final.

The real villains start appearing only in the later stages of underdog movies. Exhibit 4: On paper Pakistan have everything they need to end this underdog tale, but their occasional overconfidence and exceptional play from the underdogs take New Zealand to the final.

Underdogs in the movies meet the biggest, scariest villain right at the end. Exhibit 5: It is always Australia's fate, or that of any champion team, that their excellence, consistency, their hard work, will always be seen as villainous in romantic underdog stories. We can also conveniently forget that they too lost three of their most important players - Nathan Bracken, Michael Clarke and Brad Haddin - in the lead-up to the tournament. Champions, though, don't deserve such considerations. Every good underdog story needs a mean villain, and Australia have rarely failed to oblige at world events.

If more context is needed, New Zealand have historically seen Australia as big brothers, and have always sought to bring their best against them. Moreover, New Zealand are yet to beat Australia in a tournament final, and have lost six times (tournaments with more than one final have been considered as one). Centurion will not provide them with a freak pitch either. It's all stacked up against New Zealand this time, and no self-respecting underdog story would have it any other way.

How good this story is will be known by Monday evening, or rather early on Tuesday morning in Australia and New Zealand.

Form guide

(last five completed matches, most recent first)

Australia - WWWLW
Ominously they are peaking at the right time. Even more ominously they have survived the one token scare that champion sides face, in the game against Pakistan.

New Zealand - WWWLL
Their weakened line-up has made the rest even more determined. They will rely a lot on their bowlers and fielders to find a balance between defence and attack, and restrict Australia like they did Pakistan.

Team news

Both teams gave satisfactory performances in the semi-finals, and both are more or less settled - even if not entirely by design.

Australia (probable): 1 Shane Watson, 2 Tim Paine (wk), 3 Ricky Ponting (capt), 4 Michael Hussey, 5 Cameron White, 6 Callum Ferguson, 7 James Hopes, 8 Mitchell Johnson, 9 Brett Lee, 10 Nathan Hauritz, 11 Peter Siddle.

A discussion on allrounder Brendon Diamanti has its merits - Neil Broom hasn't had much to do in the tournament - but New Zealand are not likely to tinker with a winning combination. And the way Elliott came through the semi-final, a big worry for them has been taken care of.

New Zealand (probable): 1 Brendon McCullum (wk), 2 Aaron Redmond, 3 Martin Guptill, 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Neil Broom, 6 Grant Elliot, 7 James Franklin, 8 Daniel Vettori (capt), 9 Kyle Mills, 10 Shane Bond, 11 Ian Butler.

Watch out for...

Daniel Vettori is definitely in the running for the Player-of-the-Series award. Against Sri Lanka he rescued a floundering middle order, and against Pakistan he promoted himself to No. 6 and guided a nervous side through to the final. And that's besides his routine job, during which he has taken seven wickets at an average of 17.71 and an economy-rate of 3.97. He is now four wickets short of the leading wicket-taker of the tournament, Wayne Parnell.

Ricky Ponting has a habit of turning it on on the big day. But he is a bruised captain, too, the only Australian leader since time immemorial to have lost the Ashes twice. He has also led them to successive unsuccessful campaigns at ICC events. When was the last time they failed to win three majors in a row?

Shane Watson is a threat to Vettori for that series award. He has taken six wickets at 16.83, and put behind him the lean run with the bat that he experienced at the end of the England series and at the start of this event. If he bats like he did in the semi-final, we could be in for a swift finish.

Pitch and conditions

Centurion, apart from the Pakistan-Australia game, has had flat batting pitches, which could made it harder for New Zealand to pull off an upset. A 30% chance of precipitation means we should get a complete game.

Stats and trivia

  • New Zealand have entered 13 tournament finals before this, and have won four of those.

  • Since their 1999 World Cup triumph, Australia have reached 19 tournament finals, and have lost only three: in 1999 to Sri Lanka in Colombo, and two CB Series finals to England and India in 2006-07 and 2007-08 respectively.

  • The whole New Zealand team has scored six ODI centuries between them (Ross Taylor 3 and Brendon McCullum, Martin Guptill and Grant Elliott one each), Ponting has 28.

  • Australia have beaten New Zealand in six tournament finals. This will be their first meeting in a final at a neutral venue.

Quotes

"We are playing at a level which would win us the big games. We look to play best cricket when it matters. We are peaking at the right time for the finals."
Ricky Ponting can feel what those wanting a close contest are dreading.

"But once you reach that level, you realise there is an immense desire to go all the way and I think there's no relief in the camp. It was all about how we're going to win tomorrow as opposed to it's great the we've made it"
Reaching the final was once New Zealand's goal, but not anymore, says Daniel Vettori.

Sidharth Monga is a staff writer at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • manuka on October 6, 2009, 10:04 GMT

    Did NZ deserve to be in the final? Yes of course, they have one of the best ODI bowling attacks in the world, three bowlers in the top five ICC rankings supported by the resurgence of Butler and Tuffey. Fair enough NZ's Batting is not brilliant but on good pitches they put together team efforts and get enough. The have bowled and fielded brilliantly in the tournament and SA apart no one even India (in the lead up game) have had any answers. They deserved it all the way and its about time people paid tribute to the ODI brilliance of bowlers like Vettori, Mills and Bond They are not workman like they are three of best ODI bowlers in the world. Its not that rare the team with the best bowling come the fore in world tournaments so its no accident the team with 3 top ten ODI bowlers got to the final (Current ICC ODI bowling rankings Vettori =2, Mills = 2, Bond = 5)

  • Pantherscc on October 5, 2009, 12:18 GMT

    Being a Paki and fan of Pakistan cric team i will be suppting the Kiwis today. They are the most hard working side, with no super stars and hence should play fearless crciket and give Aussies a run for their money. Considering that they achieved the success so far without some of their more prolific players say a lot about the character of the team. Unlike the Indian team which despite the stars could not go beyond the first stage. They are a team obsessed with individual stats and lack team spirit. They will continue to struggle under a leader who's only goal is to keep his batting average above 50. I hope Indian cricket fraternity understand that a well made 20 at the death is sometimes more valauble than a 50 at the top.

  • Avery_Mann on October 5, 2009, 12:07 GMT

    Vettori out with a dodgy hammy!! Man, this victory is going to be even sweeter for us underdogs!

  • CricLove4Ever on October 5, 2009, 12:06 GMT

    I agree, Pakistan lost because they played bad. They were over confident and lazy. Even Shahid should have run out Vetori. Only thing I will stress is that ICC needs to do more than just randomly appoint umpires for finals at least.

    Australia was in Final already and appointing Australian umpire was not a right decision from ICC for that match.

    No umpire from 4 teams should be appointed in finals.

  • sensible_umair on October 5, 2009, 11:41 GMT

    Newzealand will be thrashed today and then those who are saying they have gud bowling attack will come to know that how stupid they r to even say like that.. Pakistan hasnt have a gud bating line up that doesnt mean Nzl is a gud bowling unit.. just See wat Ponting Watson and Hussey will do with them with their so called gud bowling attack...

  • rohan024 on October 5, 2009, 11:36 GMT

    The reason NZ has a reasonable good chance of batting well is that there is no good spinner in Australian team. NZ can bat very very well and agressively against all kind of fast bowlers since most of NZ players like McCullum, Guptill, Taylor, Elliot can play short pitched deliveries exceedingly well by hooking or cutting. NZ bats badly only when they are excessively sceptical of some bowler like they were of Malinga in 2007 World Cup or Akhtar (few yrs ago in pakistan). In todays match i dont think that there is any bowler, which NZ will be excessively worried about so that to me makes them a strong favourite if they bat first.

  • hozefa_q on October 5, 2009, 11:35 GMT

    Pak always cries and blame umpire when things are not going according to their wish. The same thing happened with Ind also in that match when decision went wrong against India and when Raina was given wrongly out. This is a part and parcel of the game and at the end of the day whatever decision were taken by the umpire on field, all have to accepted it, Not like if you lose then you blame umpire and if you win then you are good team. This is cricket and at the end of the day only that team wins who play well in all departments. Pak didnt played well and they are giving reason that they were 20-30 run short. The way Kiwis were playing I think that if the score was of 300, Kiwis would have achieved even that too with ease. we must say that they have outplayed pak in all departments. Kiwis have played exceptionally well through in this tournaments in this conditions and one has to say that its going to be tight finish in final if they continue play like this. All the best to Kiwis.

  • rohan024 on October 5, 2009, 11:19 GMT

    Its going to be an exicting final and m looking forward to a close contest because no matter how good Australia may be, history suggests that NZ is one team that always stretches Australia. Well if Bond gets a couple of his yorkers right, then who knows Australia could be 10/2 in 5 overs. Its such a shame for ICC and every cricket fan that Shane Bond didn't play international cricket for more than an year. What an actiona he has and what speed he generates. Few of the bowlers whom one can pay to watch and Vettori, well no praise can be high enough for this steel hearted guy.

  • Avid.Cricket.Watcher on October 5, 2009, 11:17 GMT

    I think many fans would welcome it if the underdog story comes to fruition! However, on a flat Centurion track, i think Australia's batting will probably prove too strong. Still, let's hope we have a great game.

  • UnbeatableAthadu on October 5, 2009, 11:10 GMT

    Newzland is going to Win Mcculum,Franklin,butler will Rock

  • manuka on October 6, 2009, 10:04 GMT

    Did NZ deserve to be in the final? Yes of course, they have one of the best ODI bowling attacks in the world, three bowlers in the top five ICC rankings supported by the resurgence of Butler and Tuffey. Fair enough NZ's Batting is not brilliant but on good pitches they put together team efforts and get enough. The have bowled and fielded brilliantly in the tournament and SA apart no one even India (in the lead up game) have had any answers. They deserved it all the way and its about time people paid tribute to the ODI brilliance of bowlers like Vettori, Mills and Bond They are not workman like they are three of best ODI bowlers in the world. Its not that rare the team with the best bowling come the fore in world tournaments so its no accident the team with 3 top ten ODI bowlers got to the final (Current ICC ODI bowling rankings Vettori =2, Mills = 2, Bond = 5)

  • Pantherscc on October 5, 2009, 12:18 GMT

    Being a Paki and fan of Pakistan cric team i will be suppting the Kiwis today. They are the most hard working side, with no super stars and hence should play fearless crciket and give Aussies a run for their money. Considering that they achieved the success so far without some of their more prolific players say a lot about the character of the team. Unlike the Indian team which despite the stars could not go beyond the first stage. They are a team obsessed with individual stats and lack team spirit. They will continue to struggle under a leader who's only goal is to keep his batting average above 50. I hope Indian cricket fraternity understand that a well made 20 at the death is sometimes more valauble than a 50 at the top.

  • Avery_Mann on October 5, 2009, 12:07 GMT

    Vettori out with a dodgy hammy!! Man, this victory is going to be even sweeter for us underdogs!

  • CricLove4Ever on October 5, 2009, 12:06 GMT

    I agree, Pakistan lost because they played bad. They were over confident and lazy. Even Shahid should have run out Vetori. Only thing I will stress is that ICC needs to do more than just randomly appoint umpires for finals at least.

    Australia was in Final already and appointing Australian umpire was not a right decision from ICC for that match.

    No umpire from 4 teams should be appointed in finals.

  • sensible_umair on October 5, 2009, 11:41 GMT

    Newzealand will be thrashed today and then those who are saying they have gud bowling attack will come to know that how stupid they r to even say like that.. Pakistan hasnt have a gud bating line up that doesnt mean Nzl is a gud bowling unit.. just See wat Ponting Watson and Hussey will do with them with their so called gud bowling attack...

  • rohan024 on October 5, 2009, 11:36 GMT

    The reason NZ has a reasonable good chance of batting well is that there is no good spinner in Australian team. NZ can bat very very well and agressively against all kind of fast bowlers since most of NZ players like McCullum, Guptill, Taylor, Elliot can play short pitched deliveries exceedingly well by hooking or cutting. NZ bats badly only when they are excessively sceptical of some bowler like they were of Malinga in 2007 World Cup or Akhtar (few yrs ago in pakistan). In todays match i dont think that there is any bowler, which NZ will be excessively worried about so that to me makes them a strong favourite if they bat first.

  • hozefa_q on October 5, 2009, 11:35 GMT

    Pak always cries and blame umpire when things are not going according to their wish. The same thing happened with Ind also in that match when decision went wrong against India and when Raina was given wrongly out. This is a part and parcel of the game and at the end of the day whatever decision were taken by the umpire on field, all have to accepted it, Not like if you lose then you blame umpire and if you win then you are good team. This is cricket and at the end of the day only that team wins who play well in all departments. Pak didnt played well and they are giving reason that they were 20-30 run short. The way Kiwis were playing I think that if the score was of 300, Kiwis would have achieved even that too with ease. we must say that they have outplayed pak in all departments. Kiwis have played exceptionally well through in this tournaments in this conditions and one has to say that its going to be tight finish in final if they continue play like this. All the best to Kiwis.

  • rohan024 on October 5, 2009, 11:19 GMT

    Its going to be an exicting final and m looking forward to a close contest because no matter how good Australia may be, history suggests that NZ is one team that always stretches Australia. Well if Bond gets a couple of his yorkers right, then who knows Australia could be 10/2 in 5 overs. Its such a shame for ICC and every cricket fan that Shane Bond didn't play international cricket for more than an year. What an actiona he has and what speed he generates. Few of the bowlers whom one can pay to watch and Vettori, well no praise can be high enough for this steel hearted guy.

  • Avid.Cricket.Watcher on October 5, 2009, 11:17 GMT

    I think many fans would welcome it if the underdog story comes to fruition! However, on a flat Centurion track, i think Australia's batting will probably prove too strong. Still, let's hope we have a great game.

  • UnbeatableAthadu on October 5, 2009, 11:10 GMT

    Newzland is going to Win Mcculum,Franklin,butler will Rock

  • vikingleif on October 5, 2009, 9:57 GMT

    Punter may have 28 ODI centuries but lose Clarke and Haddin and the remainder of the team has only 7. Scarcely different from New Zealand's six. Shows how much rests on the Australian captain, never mind the New Zealand captain. As a New Zealander I have an uneasy feeling that even if Bond gets Ponting in his first over, Hopes or Johnson will pull a 60-ball century out of the bag.

  • kishan_harathi on October 5, 2009, 9:53 GMT

    The attitude of the Pakistan fans in blaming the umpires for the terrible shortcoming of their team is simply disgusting. They are criticising the umpires for this defeat but they don't have any qualms in entering the semi-final through another blunder by an umpire, this time in their favour (Suresh Raina in the match against India). The way NewZealand have paced their chase makes us believe that they could have chased easily even a score of 300+. On any day I prefer to watch New Zealand play rather highly overrated Pakistan cricketers. I hope NewZealand will win today to establish a new order in the cricketing fraternity.

  • youfoundme on October 5, 2009, 9:15 GMT

    To me it is 50/50, like many - my heart is with NZL but my brain is with AUS. There is a part of me that knows that NZL has a chance and I hope that is the case.. Bring on 10.30pm! (Brisbane time, lol)

  • StevieS on October 5, 2009, 8:54 GMT

    What the heck, there was one bad desicision and even that looked plump in real time. I would go as far as saying that the ICC needs to start banning players for over appealling, when the ball lands a foot out side off and gets a think inside edge and the bowler and fieldsmen plead that it's out, that is nothing short of cheating, repeat ad nauseum and you have the pakistan team in the second semi final.

  • cnkodda on October 5, 2009, 8:42 GMT

    pakistan fans are really cry babies...you guys lost the match at the toss when younus khan said "i'm unfit but i'm playing"(later he dropped an important catch as well)...then the pakistan players didn't bat according to a ODI...how they qualified to the finals is a suprise...you can see how weak they are against a strong bowling line-up like AUS and NZ(India's bowling is not up to their own standards)...please stop saying you lost because of umpires...you lost because of your poor performance.....

  • ozmark on October 5, 2009, 8:28 GMT

    Aussie here. Glad to see NZ at final. The better team of today going to win as both teams got great players and powerful captains. Going to be sleepless night on a weekday !

  • dinahmike on October 5, 2009, 8:19 GMT

    NZ have already won the ICC comp once. In Kenya. Chris Cairns 100 odd not out.

  • cantab4 on October 5, 2009, 8:13 GMT

    Wow so many sour grapes from the Pakistani cricket fans, so classless, you would think they were the first team ever to get a bad decision in a match. All i can say to the Pakistani fans, build a bridge and get over it, your lads came up short, NZ outplayed Pakistan, crying about it on here, just makes you look silly.

  • Avery_Mann on October 5, 2009, 8:02 GMT

    Wow, I never knew Pakistan fans were such a bunch of crybabies. Someone call the WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHMBULANCE... Pakistan would have needed more than another 50 runs and a couple of dodgy LBWs to beat NZ, they were soundly beaten by a better side. NZ paced their chase perfectly and cruised home with FIVE wickets in hand.

  • Payabzai on October 5, 2009, 7:54 GMT

    Well played Kiwis in the Semi final. There are matches that a team Can win and matches that a team cannot win, pakistan had the chance to win but they didnt go beyond the limit of ODI performance. on the other Hand NZ seek a good victory over pakistan. I think NZ is one of the teams that can beat Australia, i am supported NZ in the finals today, and Would like to see them in the best of thier times.

  • norris66 on October 5, 2009, 7:46 GMT

    nopomfan, Yes you are right most likely Australia will win as they are the better team. But you can never count the kiwis out. I read similiar comments like yours last year before the World Cup Rugby League Final and we all know what happened there. The underdogs won. There are better sides watching from the sides, but guess what they couldnt quite bring home the bacon and for whatever reason they didnt win. Rankings do not matter in these tournaments, its whoever wins at the end of the day...I hope its not a one-sided affair but I cant wait for the first ball to be bowled. go the KIWS!!!

  • virtualshah on October 5, 2009, 7:45 GMT

    My Heart says Black Caps but Head says Kangaroos.

  • Avery_Mann on October 5, 2009, 7:33 GMT

    @nopomfan: "Luck does not last forever, and class will prevail." Class? Well, that precludes the Australians then doesn't it? ;) The Black 'Spirit of Cricket' Caps will soon take their rightful position at the pinnacle of world cricket. Gone are the self-aggrandising Indians, the choking South Africans, the mercurial Pakistanis, the awful English, and the curious Sri Lankans. Soon the canary-yellow Australians will crumble to the Bond and the Butler and the Mills. Never fear, New Zealand will be modest and gracious champions. Enjoy the New Order of World Cricket... THE BEARDED ONE WALKS AMONGST US! HIS TIME HAS COME! REJOICE! REJOICE! Srsly, Australia all out for 218, NZ win by 3 wickets with 6.3 overs to spare.

  • Gippslander on October 5, 2009, 7:25 GMT

    As the undisputed custodians of the 'spirit of cricket', no-one would begrudge NZ their first international trophy. Although the heart says NZ (at least on this occasion), the head says Australia.

  • Kherani on October 5, 2009, 7:03 GMT

    Wellcome NZ to the Final but all credit goes to Umpire. It is all part of the game but once or twice, not endlessly. There is supermacy of Aussies and they will definitely win bcoz this time Aleem Dar is supervising the Final.

  • Gully_11 on October 5, 2009, 7:00 GMT

    In my heart i really feel NZ should win they deserve it. Beating Srilanka and pak. If McCullum, Guptil, Talor fires then nothin like it. We have seen Remond fire in T20. Go for it guys........

  • CharlieAlanJakeHarperFamily on October 5, 2009, 6:49 GMT

    Take a bow from the kiwis their captain leads from the front with bat and bowl their fielding was top class as always but surprisingly they played the spinners excellntly really if they play like they did in the semis they can give a run for the money to the aussies coz spin was the only debacle and centurion is better suited for playing pace than spin

  • benjiallen07 on October 5, 2009, 6:42 GMT

    It's a given the black caps will win, their playing like champions hence champions trophy. Aussie are scared of Bond, Vettori is completely dominant on a spinny surface and Rossco will arise for the occasion. GO NEW ZEALAND

  • Razkibaz on October 5, 2009, 6:22 GMT

    Reaching to the finals for N Zealand is acceptable but the way of reaching the finals is unacceptable... fault is not on N.Zealanders... Fault on ICC & umpires how can they do that openly whn the media is so open and cameras are showing each and every event happening no one can say anything... to any one amazing stuff ICC and umpires..

  • A.P.B. on October 5, 2009, 6:16 GMT

    As an Aussie, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out who I will be supporting tonight. But if we are to lose, I'd rather it be NZ than anyone else. People here are calling NZ underdogs and outsiders which is true to a point. But they have always had a pretty good ODI side regardless of results, just lack a little bit of depth and consistency at times. They also have a good record against Oz of late. Remember we do have Chappel/Hadlee series each year and NZ smashed us 18 months ago in NZ. Also they tied the recent one 2-2 this year. Would have won it too had the rain not saved us at the Gabba in the fifth game. Taylor, McCullum and Guptill can turn a game in a matter of overs if they get going and Shane Bond (just like Freddy Flintoff) always seems to save his best for Australia. And then there is Vettori!! It should be a great game. Shame it is on a monday night so noone here or in NZ can actually watch it unless they chuck a sickie for work tuesday!

  • CricLove4Ever on October 5, 2009, 6:11 GMT

    I don't want to support Australia but at the same time I don't believe NZ deserved to be in the final. They are weak team and they had a good day against Pakistan. This why it is call ONE DAY Cricket. Only think what I believe ICC needs to look work on is neutral umpiring. Australia was already in final and still we see Simon Tufal is umpiring in Pakistan match. He is human and Australian.. I don;t want to say he had intention to do wrong but who knows

  • v-unified on October 5, 2009, 6:02 GMT

    Sal80 i don't what the problem is with you but what do you mean by NZ not playing fair. Most of Umpires calls were accurate apart from a few dodgy ones, but that's part of cricket and you can't deny that. They deserve to be in the final. Go NZ!!!!!!!

  • Number1CricketFan on October 5, 2009, 5:57 GMT

    Sal80, New Zealand's win had nothing to do with the umpiring desicions. These desicions are all a part of the game. Pakistan could have won the game if their captain did not drop Grant Elliott at a crucial stage of the game. There is no way you can controll the uncontrolables. NZ deserved their win

  • nopomfan on October 5, 2009, 5:37 GMT

    Come on my Kiwi friends, let's get real. When you wake up tomorrow morning the inevitable will have happened. It is great to see you there in the final, and all credit to you, but some of the comments in the messages above are surely an exrtravagant excercise in wishful thinking. You know in your heart of hearts that there are better sides sitting on the sidelines because of the vagaries of one-day cricket. Luck does not last forever, and class will prevail.

  • FlyingKakapo on October 5, 2009, 5:28 GMT

    To be totally honest, I'm a little bit sick of Australia winning heaps of tournaments and I know others are too. It just gets a little bit boring. Cricket is at its best when there's big contests between teams and you have no idea which way the game will go. When heading into big ICC tournament finals like these, we have the tendency to think "I want this team to win but, Australia will probably win in the end because they always do". Prove them wrong Dan! Prove them wrong! NZ has a young but very able and inconsistant. Personally, I think this final will bring out the best in those young players, most of these guys have never been in a final before. And they'll know that they might not make it next time around so they'll be even more determined not to let themselves, the team and the country down. Hopefully they'll keep their heads and play sensible cricket. There is nothing better than to see a worried look on Ponting's face. Go NZ!!!

  • Asif_Iqbal on October 5, 2009, 5:28 GMT

    Both teams having fresh talent with some experience but I think Kiwis will be winner as they played very good cricket also they are upper hand in spin department having world class spinner Vetory and also his a very good captain and determine cricketer . Best of Luck New Zealand

  • firey1 on October 5, 2009, 5:15 GMT

    Would love to say the Kiwis have a chance.............But honestly, I can't.

    Go Aussies!!!!

  • Rahul_78 on October 5, 2009, 4:46 GMT

    Sidharth, knowingly or unknowingly refering to australia and pak as villains in a perfect underdog script..well buddy I dont knw how much the fans of the respective countrys are going to appreciate it. I had a good laugh though. Dan the david vs punter the goliath. May the force be with you dan..all the best. I just hope for a good, tight final and hope what happened to england doesnt happen to kiwis. I would have much prefered Aus v Pak (Darth Veder vs Commodus) final from neutral point of view.

  • sal80 on October 5, 2009, 3:57 GMT

    Salman from pakistan ... NZ played well agaisnt pakistan it was 1 of the bad day for us but i think still our team deserve more then Nz in final ...bec Nz reached in the final with the suport of those 2 umpairs which give wrong decissions against pakistan so adding this i dnt give Nz full apprication on there win bec there was 30% hand of umpiring which helps them to reach semi other wise there was no way they could reach at final .. in the end I DNT SUPPORT NZ bec they reached there without fair play ..so Aussies shoudl cruch there underdog tale ..CUM ON AUSSIES

  • mashook on October 5, 2009, 3:53 GMT

    why scott styris is out of the team when he is an genuine all rounder and can fill the place of neil broom

  • Number1CricketFan on October 5, 2009, 2:47 GMT

    There is no way New Zealand can lose! The way Grant Elliot is batting, their middle order looks great. If the likes of Bond and Butler get rid of Ponting, Watson and Hussey it is a relatively weak middle order. Come on Blackcaps!

  • cricketschmicket on October 5, 2009, 2:44 GMT

    New Zealand has a chance. The deck sutis spinners, so Jeetan Patel must play. Look for one of the Kiwi top four to get a hundred and its anyone's game on a slow deck.

  • Avery_Mann on October 5, 2009, 2:26 GMT

    "New Zealand come to the Champions Trophy, sans superstars..."

    Well, except Bond, Vettori and maybe McCullum...

    "sans high ICC rankings..."

    Well, except three of the top-five ranked ODI bowlers (Vettori, Mills, Bond), and a team ranking of fifth overall (now fourth).

    "and after being well and truly battered for more than a month in the sapping heat of Sri Lanka."

    Okay, I'll give you that.

    "They are - it is fair to say - the outsiders in this tournament."

    Well, no it's not, because, as far as I'm aware, the West Indies and England were both playing in this tournament, two teams which have performed very poorly in one day cricket in recent years due to a players' strike and general incompetence, respectively. Despite injuries, New Zealand were always a good bet to reach the semis, from where it is anyone's game. Sidharth Monga reveals his lack of cricketing knowledge outside the Indian love-in when he suggests otherwise.

  • sammykent on October 5, 2009, 2:21 GMT

    cric_freak88 must have a short memory. Pakistan took Australia to the wire and New Zealand dispatched them with a certain degree of comfort. Anything could happen in this game. Shane Bond's career best figures against any country are against Australia and with Butler in the mix they have a second bowler that can exceed 140kmph. With Vettori almost guaranteed to get some wickets it means we should not see the type of demolition job that was done to England (huge chokers). If New Zealand field and catch like they have been then they are a chance. If Australia bat first and one Australian batsman sets himself and gets a big total then NZ will struggle. I will have lot of trouble staying awake for this one but I am going to try. Go New Zealand!

  • Predator45 on October 5, 2009, 2:08 GMT

    I agree with kirangupta that NZ are in good form. Disagree with cric_freak88, even though we kiwi's are missing key players and would love some old players to come out of retirement, eg:steven flemming, chris martin etc. And Vetorri, wheither we win or lose, will always try for the next tournament.

  • delbnz on October 5, 2009, 2:06 GMT

    Give'em a taste of kiwi!

    We will be screaming our lungs out till the sun comes up tomorrow morning! Go Dan - brung it home for us mate!!!

  • Manoj1234 on October 5, 2009, 0:53 GMT

    The final match is on a Monday?? Unbelievable. No wonder the ICC is considered completely incompetent. As if 50-50 is not dead already, the ICC wants to drive in the final nails :). Manoj

  • Stu274 on October 5, 2009, 0:05 GMT

    The Battle of the ANZACS, if were are going to be beaten by anyone I would rather it was the Kiwis anyway. Dan Vettori is a top bloke & a fantastic cricketer in my view. On current form I think both teams are travelling fairly well & I hope for a good game that could go either way. Go the Aussies.

  • kasablur on October 4, 2009, 23:33 GMT

    Come on Boys bring it home!!

  • fahad.butt on October 4, 2009, 22:47 GMT

    well, the stats in the article tell you everything. on paper, australia is by far the champions of the tournament. new zealand, although in good shape, do not have match winners they need to finish it up with australia. they do have key batsmen on their side but with the bowling attack of lee and watson, they will not take on the pressure for long. most people think that this austalian team is not the same as it used to be, but let me mention here that australians have always played with a very balanced side. they have replacements for every player in their team. nonetheless, in this form of the game stats do not matter and the team that perfoms on the day wins the tournament. all the best to both the teams and may the best team win!

  • RufusNZ on October 4, 2009, 22:38 GMT

    Well, NZ have not lost a ICC final before (tongue in cheek!). Therefore they will win this game. Period...

  • amdtelrunya on October 4, 2009, 22:09 GMT

    I am getting a little annoyed at the whole "NZ is an honest team of triers" angle. The fact is NZ has one of the best ODI bowling attacks around, with Bond, Mills and Vettori all in the top 5 on the ODI rankings. Granted Bond has lost a bit of pace but the bouncer that got Nazir yesterday still showed his class. Add in Butler who got four yesterday and Franklin as a fifth bowler and its a well rounded attack. Batting depth is a problem though the ability is there. Oram isn't a massive loss as a batsman he has underperformed in ODIs lately. But Guptill, McCullum (although scratchy), Elliott and Vettori have been getting good runs this tournament. NZ need a big innings from Taylor. NZ's best chance is to get into the Aussie top order and limit their score if they bat first. If Australia get a 300+ score first up is will be hard, or alternatively if NZ don't get close to 300 if they bat first.

  • nz35 on October 4, 2009, 21:37 GMT

    go kiwis!!!!!!!!! a win here would boost the teams popularity back here in nz & a good way to lunch the summer season for the black caps. GO HARD NZ KICK THE AUZZIES ASS!!!!!!!!!

  • kirangupta on October 4, 2009, 20:27 GMT

    I Think That The Kind Of Form NZ Are In They Will Win The Champions Trophy For Sure.

  • patroclus on October 4, 2009, 19:36 GMT

    Please Dan.... just ask your guys to hold their nerves.... When India is out, we Indians are with the Black Caps. Please just win it.... and yes agree with Fireballers... Insane to schedule a final on Monday... so very frustrating... think ICC should take a cue from the tennis Grand Slam organisers who never fail to bring the Gentlemen's final on a Sunday!! And once again... PLEASE DAN!!!!

  • girikula on October 4, 2009, 18:33 GMT

    The story is nicely written. As per this, the underdogs must win tomorrow's match. Hopefully NZ will win this one! I am an Indian and love the way Aussies play. I have enjoyed their power hitting and outstanding bowling. But the current team is not the "same" team as before. So, NZ has a chance for sure. If they play their cards, Vettori can be holding the trophy at the end of Monday in SA! All the best Vettori. But anyway, it will be a great final. NZ deserve to be there in the final due to their efforts. Kudos to Ponting too on his milestone!

  • cnkodda on October 4, 2009, 16:36 GMT

    whatever happens it'll be a good game...both sides deserve to be in the final and who ever comes up second,they will feel unlucky....both of them have come a long way with lot of upsets in the past couple of months...so they can be proud of themselves in reaching the finals...

  • Fireballers on October 4, 2009, 16:29 GMT

    What I don't understand is why would they schedule a match on Monday when almost everybody has to be at work? It would okay if it were a 20/20 match but a full on ODI match on a MONDAY? I can't imagine there being people committed enough to blow off work to watch Champions Trophy final. It is only easier to follow it on cricinfo. Just how in the world does a major [as per ICC] championship have a final scheduled on Monday is what I really would like to know here? I mean, it isn't exactly that Cricket is the most popular sport in the world. And by pulling stunts like a Monday final ICC isn't helping its own case. 'Monday Final'.. prepostrous. Is it a holiday there tomorrow? And they want to expand Cricket in USA. It won't happen with bogus planning such as this one. It won't happen with ODIs and that is 100% certain. In two years, ODI matches will bring nothing but losses.

  • Rockin_Sid on October 4, 2009, 16:21 GMT

    THE KIWIS ALSO GOT BACK G.ELLIOTT, WHO WAS SUFFERING FROM HIS INJURY. AUSTRALIA IS ALSO A STRONG TEAM.LEE,WATSON,SIDDLE,JOHNSON ,PONTING ALSO TO BE SUPPORTED...

  • cric_freak88 on October 4, 2009, 15:43 GMT

    well it's gonna be a one sided game . because NZ lack the quality of players like ORAM / RYDER etc .

    Australia is no pakistan ( whose batsmen crumbled under pressure on a batting paradise )

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  • cric_freak88 on October 4, 2009, 15:43 GMT

    well it's gonna be a one sided game . because NZ lack the quality of players like ORAM / RYDER etc .

    Australia is no pakistan ( whose batsmen crumbled under pressure on a batting paradise )

  • Rockin_Sid on October 4, 2009, 16:21 GMT

    THE KIWIS ALSO GOT BACK G.ELLIOTT, WHO WAS SUFFERING FROM HIS INJURY. AUSTRALIA IS ALSO A STRONG TEAM.LEE,WATSON,SIDDLE,JOHNSON ,PONTING ALSO TO BE SUPPORTED...

  • Fireballers on October 4, 2009, 16:29 GMT

    What I don't understand is why would they schedule a match on Monday when almost everybody has to be at work? It would okay if it were a 20/20 match but a full on ODI match on a MONDAY? I can't imagine there being people committed enough to blow off work to watch Champions Trophy final. It is only easier to follow it on cricinfo. Just how in the world does a major [as per ICC] championship have a final scheduled on Monday is what I really would like to know here? I mean, it isn't exactly that Cricket is the most popular sport in the world. And by pulling stunts like a Monday final ICC isn't helping its own case. 'Monday Final'.. prepostrous. Is it a holiday there tomorrow? And they want to expand Cricket in USA. It won't happen with bogus planning such as this one. It won't happen with ODIs and that is 100% certain. In two years, ODI matches will bring nothing but losses.

  • cnkodda on October 4, 2009, 16:36 GMT

    whatever happens it'll be a good game...both sides deserve to be in the final and who ever comes up second,they will feel unlucky....both of them have come a long way with lot of upsets in the past couple of months...so they can be proud of themselves in reaching the finals...

  • girikula on October 4, 2009, 18:33 GMT

    The story is nicely written. As per this, the underdogs must win tomorrow's match. Hopefully NZ will win this one! I am an Indian and love the way Aussies play. I have enjoyed their power hitting and outstanding bowling. But the current team is not the "same" team as before. So, NZ has a chance for sure. If they play their cards, Vettori can be holding the trophy at the end of Monday in SA! All the best Vettori. But anyway, it will be a great final. NZ deserve to be there in the final due to their efforts. Kudos to Ponting too on his milestone!

  • patroclus on October 4, 2009, 19:36 GMT

    Please Dan.... just ask your guys to hold their nerves.... When India is out, we Indians are with the Black Caps. Please just win it.... and yes agree with Fireballers... Insane to schedule a final on Monday... so very frustrating... think ICC should take a cue from the tennis Grand Slam organisers who never fail to bring the Gentlemen's final on a Sunday!! And once again... PLEASE DAN!!!!

  • kirangupta on October 4, 2009, 20:27 GMT

    I Think That The Kind Of Form NZ Are In They Will Win The Champions Trophy For Sure.

  • nz35 on October 4, 2009, 21:37 GMT

    go kiwis!!!!!!!!! a win here would boost the teams popularity back here in nz & a good way to lunch the summer season for the black caps. GO HARD NZ KICK THE AUZZIES ASS!!!!!!!!!

  • amdtelrunya on October 4, 2009, 22:09 GMT

    I am getting a little annoyed at the whole "NZ is an honest team of triers" angle. The fact is NZ has one of the best ODI bowling attacks around, with Bond, Mills and Vettori all in the top 5 on the ODI rankings. Granted Bond has lost a bit of pace but the bouncer that got Nazir yesterday still showed his class. Add in Butler who got four yesterday and Franklin as a fifth bowler and its a well rounded attack. Batting depth is a problem though the ability is there. Oram isn't a massive loss as a batsman he has underperformed in ODIs lately. But Guptill, McCullum (although scratchy), Elliott and Vettori have been getting good runs this tournament. NZ need a big innings from Taylor. NZ's best chance is to get into the Aussie top order and limit their score if they bat first. If Australia get a 300+ score first up is will be hard, or alternatively if NZ don't get close to 300 if they bat first.

  • RufusNZ on October 4, 2009, 22:38 GMT

    Well, NZ have not lost a ICC final before (tongue in cheek!). Therefore they will win this game. Period...