VB Series, match 1

Australia v New Zealand

At Melbourne, January 11 (day/night). New Zealand won by 23 runs. New Zealand 4 pts. Toss: Australia. International debut: B. A. Williams.

New Zealand were in a stranglehold at 94 for seven in the 27th over, but Harris helped them wriggle free with an unbeaten 63. Even so, a total of 199 looked inadequate, especially when Australia scorched to 63 for one in eight overs. They paid a high price for mid-innings recklessness, however: Bond had Ponting caught at fine leg and then enticed Bevan to slash high to third man. The last six wickets, including the disastrous run-out of Steve Waugh, tumbled in 14 overs. Cairns - who had struck a massive blow by removing Gilchrist - returned to hit the stumps twice, and Vettori deterred any late rally. McGrath was banned for one match after his dissent when given out caught behind. Meanwhile, the Melbourne Cricket Club suffered what its general manager described as the "annual outbreak of mob mentality". Play was held up for several minutes after unrest in the Great Southern Stand, which prompted 22 arrests and more than 250 evictions.

Man of the Match: C. Z. Harris.

© John Wisden & Co