Match 8, Australia v New Zealand

The Commonwealth Bank Series, 2006-07

Peter English

At Perth, January 28, 2007 (day/night). Australia won by eight runs. Australia 4 pts. Toss: Australia.

It was tight, but Australia maintained their 100% record in the tournament despite an impressive late blast from Oram. When he arrived in the 28th over, at 150 for four, needing an intimidating 344, New Zealand appeared out of it: but he produced the fastest hundred by a New Zealander to take his side close to an unlikely win. Oram's first century, in his 89th one-day international, came from 71 balls, included six sixes, and raised questions about Australia's bowling under pressure: Ponting, in charge when they could not defend 331 and 434 the previous season, was unhappy at conceding the third-highest total against his side, even though they won this time. Australia benefited from a brief rain-break when New Zealand wanted 88 from the final eight overs, interrupting the momentum of Oram and McCullum, who put on 137 in just 88 balls. They took only a couple of minutes after the stoppage to readjust, but the handful of dot balls was costly. Vincent, replacing the retired Astle, set up the chase with a bright 66, although he was unlucky to be given out lbw to one he hit. In 40° heat earlier, Ponting and Hayden had overcome the oppressive conditions in a second-wicket partnership of 200. Hayden, who was dropped on nought (second ball), four and 79, reached his first one-day hundred for nearly two years, while Ponting was almost error-free scoring his 21st.

Man of the Match: R. T. Ponting. Attendance: 20,475.

© Wisden Cricketers' Almanack