New Zealand v Australia, 2nd ODI, Auckland March 6, 2010

Australia survive late Vettori scare


Australia 273 for 7 (Hussey 56, White 54, Haddin 53) beat New Zealand 253 (Vettori 70, Johnson 4-51) by 12 runs (D/L method)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Daniel Vettori stuck his stiff neck out with a brilliant innings that nearly delivered victory for New Zealand but Ryan Harris chopped him off to end the plucky fight as Australia levelled the series 1-1. There were some very nervous moments for Australia as they let New Zealand recover from 131 for 6 to almost reach their goal of 266 before the visitors' blushes were saved.

It came down to 13 required from 11 balls when Vettori walked across his stumps and attempted a shot he had used to great effect throughout his innings. However, this time when he tried to flick Harris behind square leg his stumps were rattled, his fightback finished at 70 from 49 balls, and Australia avoided going down 2-0 with three to play.

Vettori almost sat out of the game - he would have rested his sore neck again had his vice-captain Ross Taylor not been a late withdrawal with a leg injury - and he ended up as the Man of the Match in his lost cause. He compiled important lower-order partnerships with Gareth Hopkins and Daryl Tuffey before Mitchell Johnson and Ryan Harris ended the dream.

Johnson went from villain to hero for Australia with a four-wicket haul that included two breakthroughs at the top of the order and two vital strikes to remove Vettori's partners. Johnson had been booed when he first walked to the crease, following his altercation with Scott Styris in Napier, but by the end he had let his bowling do the talking.

He had Tuffey caught at slip for 20 and bowled Shane Bond for 6 to help Australia over the line after they looked to be cruising when rain interrupted New Zealand's chase. The hosts lost five overs and had their target reduced by eight runs and it was the loss of top-order wickets that was the big problem for them.

Brendon McCullum had struck two sixes in his 24 before he fell to a brilliant catch from Brad Haddin, leaping high to his right to take the ball in front of first slip's face off Johnson. Harris followed by trapping Peter Ingram and Neil Broom lbw from consecutive balls and although James Franklin survived the hat-trick ball, he was soon caught behind off Johnson to leave New Zealand at 46 for 4.

The resistance started with Scott Styris' 46 and 35 from Hopkins, before Vettori started to find the gaps and improvised by walking across his stumps and backing away with superb judgment. In the end it wasn't enough but Australia cannot sit back and assume that all is hunky-dory.

Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke, their captain and vice-captain, fell to dreadful shots before they were settled and there was a 300-plus total on offer after the openers pushed the score to 73 for 0 in the 14th over. Shane Watson made a bright 47 from 48 before he picked out the man at deep midwicket off Tuffey.

Haddin (53) looked like anchoring the innings and twice sent Vettori deliveries back over the bowler's head for six. He was trying a similar drive when Vettori took a lightning fast reflex catch thrusting out his left hand as Haddin's shot seemed to be rocketing past him.

At least Haddin could consider himself a trifle unlucky. Ponting had nobody to blame but himself when from his fourth ball he went for an uncharacteristic wild swipe at Vettori and skied a catch to cover. Clarke made 11 and also failed to show his best judgment when he tried a strange, mangled pull from outside off that lobbed to mid-on and gave Bond his first of two wickets.

From there, it was Michael Hussey (56) and Cameron White who rebuilt. White compiled his runs steadily until the 43rd over, when he launched Franklin for two sixes from the first two deliveries. Neither came out of the middle of the bat but the small Eden Park dimensions allowed him to clear the boundary at midwicket and mid-on.

However, when he tried to do the same with the third ball he mistimed it and was taken at long-on by McCullum for 54. The drama didn't end there as Franklin left the field along with the batsman, having hurt his hamstring. It added to an ultimately disappointing day for New Zealand, who had already lost Jacob Oram to a knee injury in the first game. But as Vettori showed, the walking wounded can still fight.

Brydon Coverdale is a staff writer at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mark on March 8, 2010, 4:15 GMT

    Great game even if D/L marred the result slightly. I was in the crowd giving Johnson hell, but I have to say he responded well so hes earned a bit of respect back from me.

    I really have to question why Broom is still in the NZ side he has not performed well since being inthe black caps with only one score above 50 and a handful of starts that fizzled. Even if Taylor is fit I think they should give the new guy a go over Broom.

    Go the Black Caps

  • Ron on March 7, 2010, 10:57 GMT

    Vettori Stuffed up..Surely he must have known that his luck would run out batting that way...with only 12 runs to get he could have just played orthodox strokes and the ball that Harris got him out with was exactly the same as one a few balls earlier that he had straight driven for four so??...It helps to have something in the top two inches which reminds me , NZ CRicket has a CEO ..a MEDICAL DOCTOR? Yet our top cricketers clearly have no real fitness program with a continuous spate of preventable injuries ..IE injuries that with a proper fitnes program do not happen...Nothing has changed for the last thirteen years that I can recall..Its an absolute disgrace..

  • Narayan on March 7, 2010, 9:45 GMT


    Right on!! I am always amused that a batting collapse is never credited to good bowling and fielding. If a bowler gets an hatrick it would unjust to relegate it to a batting collapse.

  • Dummy4 on March 7, 2010, 7:44 GMT

    I think D/L was fair enough with the total but NZ shouldn't have had their powerplays cut. My understanding of D/L is that it factors out the middle overs where a team batting for a full fifty might consolidate to preserve wickets where as a team batting for a shorter period does not need to show the same level of caution. At the end of the day Australia were good enough to bowl NZ out in 43.2 overs so they deserved to win.

  • Jason on March 7, 2010, 4:32 GMT

    What's with the writing in this story? New Zealands "plucky fightback"? What about Australia's fightback at the end to win? Australia "let New Zealand recover"? What about NZ's good batting to recover? Australia "avoided going down"? What about Australia's victory? What's with the perspective that if a team wins, it's because the other team loses or lets them win? Why can't a team just win? Why can't bowlers be given credit for bowling well, rather than just blaming the batsmen for getting out? Why can't the successes and failures in the first innings get attention, rather than just blaming the win or loss on what happened in the second innings?

  • Timothy on March 7, 2010, 2:25 GMT

    Great game. Vettori at his best. If you didn't see it you missed out on some of the most unauthodox mad and exciting batting from Captain fantastic. Only aussies will say DL was not at all unfair in this case. Maybe needs to be revised for PP overs. Should have just played 50 overs - NZ can't complain though because of poor batting. Broom needs to be dropped. Guptill a bit disappointing lately too. Hope he comes right. We really need Taylor otherwise our batting lineup is frail. Chapell-Hadlee is always awesome.

  • Sam on March 7, 2010, 2:05 GMT

    I think the D/L adjusts the score so that austrailia would have known it was a 45 over game from the start which theoretically means that they wouldve scored faster, therefore not many runs are taken off, but 8 runs seems like they mightve got it wrong...

  • Kumar on March 7, 2010, 1:41 GMT

    Good to see NZ giving a good fight to Australians. It might sound too simple what I am going to write ---- Australians r humans too & they can be defeated. Its a MIND game. Lot of famous cricketers have told this. I have not seen any clips of Vettori's knock as I am in USA. But my point is -- if Vettori could almost win the game for NZ, then why not other top batsman ??? Believe in yourself & deliver -- period. End of story. If u give too much respect to opponents -- u have lost half the battle right there. At the same time its not that easy as it sounds -- u need to do the homework on how to get the opposition out & execute ur plans in all departments. Its a team game & a bit of luck is always needed to a batsman in particular....Cheers, Kumar

  • Dummy4 on March 7, 2010, 0:13 GMT

    dont agree with this

  • John on March 6, 2010, 23:33 GMT

    Vettori's dismissal of Ponting was briliant. It was the 14 th over. I think this was Ponting's undoing: he could not resist cashing in in the last over of the power play. That's the only explanation for the God-awful shot he played. He was out-thought.

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