Australia v New Zealand 1997-1998

At Sydney, January 14 (day/night). Australia won by 131 runs. Toss: Australia. International debut: J. P. Maher.

Playing without either Waugh twin for the first time in 11 years (Steve had a pulled muscle, Mark a virus), Australia were led to a convincing victory by Warne. Dozens of flash bulbs went off in the crowd when he bowled his first ball as captain, in the 21st over; by then, New Zealand were all but gone at 81 for four. Ponting, who had continued his breakthrough in one-day cricket with 84 in 103 balls, followed up with some world-class fielding. He picked off Spearman and McMillan with direct hits: to remove McMillan, he made a challenging tumble and throw from backward point took routine. Australia blooded left-hander James Maher, on the strength of his Queensland form, but he failed here and at Perth. Rain shortened Australia's allocation to 48 overs.

Man of the Match: R. T. Ponting. Attendance: 36,476.

© John Wisden & Co