Ninth Match

Australia v New Zealand


At The Oval, September 16. Australia won by seven wickets. Australia 2 pts. Toss: Australia.

A murderous innings from Symonds, who struck an unbeaten 71 from only 47 balls, with seven fours and four sixes, ultimately propelled Australia into the last four at the expense of their neighbours. But it was the bowling of McGrath that paved the way for a comprehensive victory. To mutterings about his declining powers, McGrath's first 23 deliveries had cost 24, but he responded just in time to trap Astle and then added Marshall and Styris in a wicket-to-wicket spell of three for three in 19 balls. With Kasprowicz claiming three scalps as well, New Zealand were reeling at 89 for seven, before McCullum marshalled some lower-order resistance, including a stand of 68 for the ninth wicket with Vettori - then a national record against any opposition. In the end, a total of 198 for nine on a sluggish pitch was a minor triumph. Gilchrist was out in the first over of Australia's reply, but Hayden eased their fears before Martyn and Symonds put together an increasingly violent century partnership. An otherwise jocular occasion, enlivened by some good-natured crowd interaction, was marred after the end of the match when drunken spectators staged a mini-pitch invasion and clashed with security guards, six of whom were injured.

Man of the Match: A. Symonds. Attendance: 15,000.

© John Wisden & Co