New Zealand v Australia, 3rd ODI, Hamilton February 8, 2016

New Zealand defend 246 on McCullum's ODI farewell


New Zealand 246 (Guptill 59, Elliott 50, M Marsh 3-34) beat Australia 191 (Khawaja 44, Henry 3-60) by 55 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

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WATCH - New Zealand's series-sealing victory

One of Brendon McCullum's fondest ODI memories was a match in Hamilton in 2007 when he helped New Zealand run down an Australian tally of 346 to complete a Chappell-Hadlee sweep. This time around McCullum's team-mates honoured him with a rousing defence of 246 at Seddon Park, ensuring their captain retired from ODI matches with the trophy in his keeping.

Steven Smith's Australian side had been happy to restrict the hosts via a collapse of six wickets for 23 after McCullum, Martin Guptill and Grant Elliott all made starts, a meagre target to defend on the small outfield of Seddon Park. However a slowing pitch and excellent spells by Doug Bracewell, Ish Sodhi, Corey Anderson and Matt Henry combined with a moment's controversy to carry New Zealand home.

The visitors were still a chance of chasing down the target when an in-form Mitchell Marsh jammed a Henry delivery back down the pitch. New Zealand appealed only half-heartedly but the umpires were moved to refer after a big screen replay showed the ball had hit boot rather than ground. Marsh was livid at his dismissal, and Australia may yet query the protocol that resulted in his exit.

Nevertheless, the night was New Zealand's, and it was an important win in the context of a tour that now moves into two Test matches. Smith's run of outs is significant for the Australians, who lost their fifth consecutive match in Darren Lehmann's absence - having recovered from DVT, he was in Wellington for the previous ODI but remained there with the Test players.

Josh Hazlewood, John Hastings, Scott Boland, Mitchell Marsh and the legspinner Adam Zampa kept New Zealand in check before making life difficult for a succession of new batsmen at the crease later in the innings. New Zealand's total was the smallest the Australians had managed to restrict an opponent to in the eight ODI matches they have played this year.

Usman Khawaja and David Warner began as if intent upon chasing the target down inside 25 overs, a flurry of boundaries and sixes providing a decidedly rapid start. However the difficulties to be tackled later were foreshadowed when Warner was out to a ball that stopped on him, the catch shovelled to cover.

Khawaja was to follow without making a match-shaping score, victim of an excellent spell by Bracewell in which the ball that dismissed him was actually one of the bowler's looser offerings. These wickets left the match in the hands of Australia's middle order, which apart from Marsh had not functioned at all this series.

Sodhi had not played until this night, but it was his excellent spell that accounted for Smith and the out of sorts Glenn Maxwell. Smith was lbw sweeping, before Maxwell threw his hands at a legbreak and was pouched at slip by McCullum, who had smartly left himself there.

At 94 for 4 the match was now firmly in New Zealand's hands, requiring an outstanding partnership of greater dimensions than that between Marsh and John Hastings in Wellington. Through a combination of fine bowling and good fortune, New Zealand did not allow that to happen. Bailey and Marsh added 59 before the former was beaten by a Henry break-back for the second time in as many matches, this time dragging on.

Ten runs later the moment of the match arrived when Marsh squeezed Henry back to to the bowler off bat, boot and, most presumed, the ground. Henry's appeal was half-hearted, the umpires barely interested. However a replay on the big screen showed that things were not as clear cut as that, and after some discussion Ian Gould referred the decision to the TV umpire S Ravi.

To the visible disgust of Marsh and bewilderment of Smith, Ravi then did the logical thing based on the evidence and gave the allrounder out caught. Whether he should even have been in a position to make that decision was another matter altogether. Either way, the wicket left Australia with an awful lot to do, and after Matthew Wade's pull shot got him out for the second match in a row, the rest was largely predictable.

McCullum enjoyed a last international catch, Hazlewood and Boland tried their luck, and Henry Nicholls got the final wicket with a direct hit. That sealed a triumphant night in Hamilton for McCullum, and also for the team he has done so much to mould over the past decade and more. The performance he drew out of an understrength bowling line-up was testament to his ingenuity.

New Zealand had left out Trent Boult due to illness, while Mitchell Santner was also missing due to a foot ailment ahead of the Test matches. Their places were taken by Bracewell and Sodhi. Perhaps with those changes in mind, McCullum admitted at the toss that he also would have bowled first.

So it was that McCullum's final ODI innings became the first act of the day. Having shown respect to his first three balls from Hazlewood, he tucked into John Hastings with a trio of boundaries - the first back over the bowler's head, the second tugged through midwicket and the third punched neatly through cover.

There had been much interest in whether McCullum could reach 200 ODI sixes in this innings, and it was to be Scott Boland who he sized up as the target. Twice McCullum lofted Boland beyond the rope at long-off, before advancing to drop-kick a length delivery high and long over square leg.

That milestone reached, McCullum stayed only four more balls and one more boundary. On 47 he skied Mitchell Marsh and looked on as Hastings took a furtive glance at a converging Glenn Maxwell before taking a very good catch. An appropriate ovation rang out around the ground.

What followed was somewhat anti-climactic, as Steven Smith marshalled his bowlers and fielders to a stout containing effort on a small ground. Zampa again delivered his legbreaks with skill and common sense, conceding only 4.5 runs per over while also coaxing Guptill into a skied paddle sweep to shortish fine leg.

Kane Williamson had been tied down before dragging Boland on, and Henry Nicholls lured into edging a Hazlewood ball moving across him that Smith held sharply at slip. Corey Anderson also found it hard to score in his usually supercharged manner, and was well held by Usman Khawaja on the long-on boundary from one of his better-timed strokes.

Marsh, Boland, Hastings and Hazlewood all made good use of cutters on the dry surface, ushering a rush of wickets as the ball aged. From 223 for 4 the hosts declined to 246 all out, a target Australia fancied themselves to chase until the game took a turn towards McCullum in the Seddon Park night.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig

Comments have now been closed for this article

  •   Gus Dermain on February 10, 2016, 0:12 GMT

    All the best McCullum ,what's next for you?

  • carl on February 9, 2016, 16:12 GMT

    so the bigscreen replay instigated further investigation by the umpire re the marsh dismissal, what next, an underarm delivery? (hey someone had to say it!) marsh and mckechnie are forever linked

  • Harmon on February 9, 2016, 16:05 GMT

    @jb633: Oh come on plzz. You are an old timer here. You are talking as if the Aussie (& other) fans are saints. You are talking as if Ind fans started this. Here a primer for you. Once upon a time things were cool & friendly banter was in vogue though Sydney08 & IPL had happened. Then Ind became #1 in Tests as per the rules. NO INDIAN FAN ever claimed Ind was good enough to win all over but still it broke the manners out of some ppl. Ind was mocked; players were abused as much as the rules would let. SA did that in 2010. Eng did that in 2011, Bresnan etc said a few things. WC 2011 esp irked many SA, Eng, Aus, Pak & SL fans. They have never been gentle since then. Ind fans took it for a while but when it became too much they had to respond in kind. An Ind loss gets comments from all places, often going past 700 comments. Logic, Consistency goes for a toss and ppl gang up to abuse Ind. How are you unaware of all this, being a regular here???

  • Shane on February 9, 2016, 12:28 GMT

    @HATSFORBATS - perhaps. I'd be the first to admit I don't always see these things clearly when my own team is involved. At least nobody can claim the decision itself was wrong which is great in terms of detracting less from the game.

    And yeah, if umpires were to review all these things every time an appeal happens, then not only would the game get slowed down massively but you can guarantee an increase in the number of appeals as well, causing even further delays. I don't know; perhaps there isn't a need to address it across the board and we can allow the umpires to exercise discretion and trust that they will make the right decision more often than not.

    Anyway, I'm with you on the test matches. Been waiting for this for awhile. I know we are a minor consideration to Aussie fans compared to some of the other series you play, but we so rarely get to play the "big boys" that it's always pretty exciting when we do.

  • David on February 9, 2016, 12:24 GMT

    At Peter Chatteris and Uncapped well said. Also read some silly comments about S Smith. He is class still learning like KW. KIWIS forever.

  •   Peter Chatteris on February 9, 2016, 11:08 GMT

    As a full blooded Blackcaps junkie I must say Steve Smith is actually the most gracious oZZie captain in many a year... well done to the BC and kudos to the Aussies for a hard fought series. Oh... and out is OUT

  • Matt on February 9, 2016, 11:08 GMT

    People still talking about walking?! Please, give me a break and go back to watching golf or whatever it is you do...

  • Matt on February 9, 2016, 11:04 GMT

    Already said my bit and agree Marsh was out but those holier than thou calling him petulant etc need to grow up themselves. He was just frustrated and passionate about playing for his country. Far as I could see he didn't direct his comments at anyone specific just showed some emotion. Nor have I noticed it a long running issue for him. Bet you blokes have done plenty worse over more petty issues.

  • kieran on February 9, 2016, 10:53 GMT

    @Shane-Oh, judging by this little storm in a teacup (& both captains comments) I'd say there may well be grounds for complaint, but I'm happy to admit that we've probably seen the incident from different perspectives (who knows, our encroaching loss may well have started the red mist descending by then). There is a difference between the procedures in place for those decisions allowed to be reviewed by players and those where the umpire needs assistance (bump balls obviously, and claimed catches etc.), but that line is an arbitrary one drawn by the ICC. There is obviously a case for umpires being given access to all available technology; I've not heard if they favour that model of DRS or not, but I'm not as I think they would feel pressured to review every appeal "just in case", and teams already struggle to bowl 90 overs a day. Let's crack on to the tests I say.

  • Peter on February 9, 2016, 10:37 GMT

    What so ever we need to salute to Mc for woderfull entertaining player who is one of the best player in the world during our times and unforgettable his shots i aasume everycountry scared about his power hits. An Indian fan.

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