Starc holds his nerve, and Australia win by five runs! What a game of cricket this has been, and in the end, the Australians did just enough to scrape through! This was again on a fullish length on off. Ferguson threw his hands at it but drilled it straight to the fielder in the ring at cover. Hugs and embraces all around the Australian dressing room and among the players. They will feel relieved to have gotten two points here, and they have now won four on the bounce; New Zealand, meanwhile, have now lost two on the spin!
6:48pm Right. If anyone ever asked you what a see-saw World Cup contest looked like, this would be it. Australia, at the half-way point, seemed way ahead in the contest. Until...they were not. And credit for that must be given to New Zealand and for the way they kept coming at them. It was not enough in the end and while this loss might sting, having come so close, it will infuse confidence into the NZ camp - confidence that they can fashion winning situations from improbable circumstances.
It was a pleasure bringing this game to you, and we hope you enjoyed our coverage. A few hundred miles away, in Kolkata, the Dutch are slugging it out against Bangladesh, do hop over for some more sizzling Saturday action. Until next time, from me, Alex, Chandan and Venkat Raghav, this is goodbye!
Pat Cummins, Australia captain: (On the game in general) That was awesome. Sometimes I have to remember I was on the field. They kept coming at us. It was fantastic. (On the opening partnership) I loved that, especially from Trav, who has been away. That is how we want to play, take the game on and they led the way. (On the bowling display) It was a good wicket. I thought, in patches, we bowled really well. Other times, we gave too much width away. Some really good partnerships that were tough to get into. (On the fielding effort) Marnus out there, throwing himself around at the end. Not the easiest fielding grounds here but the boys threw themselves around. We have a few days' break. Will enjoy this one and then get stuck in (for the next game).
Tom Latham, New Zealand captain: (On his thoughts on the game) Fantastic game of cricket. Ebbs and flows throughout. To come so close, obviously it hurts. They played fantastically well and put us on the back foot from the start. He bowled fantastically to come and bowl ten overs for 30 and take three wickets, at crucial times. To bowl his full ten from one end was great and his work is paying off. (On the run-chase) When you are chasing close to 400, you have to play the perfect game. Young and Dev (Conway) got us off to a good start. Rachin played an extraordinary knock - one of the better knocks you will see. (On playing in Dharamsala) Great place to play, really special place to be in. (On the Rugby World Cup final) Just want to say all the best to the All Blacks and hopefully they can bring the World Cup home.
Travis Head, Player of the Match: (On how he is feeling) Nice to be back, nice to be contributing. Very close (game) in the end. Was a hell of a game. (On his preparation) Only had a couple of hits. Little bit like the WTC, where I had a few weeks off. Have a few bruises that I can definitely strap up over the next couple of days. (On the partnership with Warner) Think we play together really well. Complement each other well. We try to stay connected with each other, stay in the moment and we want to be as positive as we can.
6:30pm Phew, what a game and it will take everyone (including me) who watched this game a minute or two to regain their breath. New Zealand were in it. They were in it right until the end. And that, in itself, tells a story because they were chasing down 389. What hurt them, though, is the way they kept losing wickets when they seemed poised to cash in and when a partnership was going strong.
Take nothing away, however, from Rachin Ravindra, who, almost single-handedly, brought New Zealand to the brink of an improbable win. Mitchell also notched up a half-century and don't forget Neesham's heroics that almost propelled the Kiwis to a victory. But as the dust settles, they would rue the fact that none of the other batters supported Ravindra as much as they would have liked through the middle.
Australia, on the other hand, will be relieved more than anything else, especially having gotten 388 in the first innings. Hazlewood and Zampa looked the most penetrative with the ball, and for a while, it seemed that their decision to not bowl out Hazlewood would come back to bite them. In the end, they just had enough runs on the board, and their ability to keep picking wickets throughout the innings served them well.
Ferguson on strike. Six runs needed. A six will do the trick for NZ. Anything else, and Australia will be home
Neesham has been run out trying to get back on strike. More drama in Dharamsala! Thigh-high full toss on leg stump. Neesham tries to hit it too hard and shanks it. Labuschagne hurtles in off the fence, collects cleanly and fires it accurately enough at the batter's end. Neesham puts in the dive but to no avail. A yard or two short of his ground, and he will be devastated. Nine times out of ten, he would have hit that full toss into the mountains. Today was the one aberration!
7 off 2 now
excellent fielding at deep mid wicket! In the slot on middle and off. Neesham has a mow at it and muscles it towards deep mid wicket. Labuschagne scampers to his left, puts in the dive and saves two
9 off 3 now. Neesham needs a boundary, right about now. Long off, long on, deep mid wicket and deep square leg on the fence
drills it straight, but gets just a brace! Very full on off stump. Neesham smashes it back past the bowler. Beats mid off but long on is very straight. Cuts it off and keeps it to two
11 off 4. One six here, and they are probably ahead of the game
very full on middle and leg. Neesham clears his front leg and heaves it towards deep mid wicket. Tears back for the second and makes it comfortably
13 off 5 now
oh dear! You have got to be kidding me! Goes for the leg-stump yorker but this goes awfully wrong. Tails down the leg side and the keeper cannot get to it either
18 off 5. Neesham needs a boundary early in this over to make Starc feel the pinch
low full toss angled into leg stump. Boult tips it to short extra cover and takes off for the single. Would have been out by a mile had Labuschagne hit at the bowler's end
Australia are an over behind and they now need to have five fielders inside the circle. 19 needed off the final over. Long on, deep square leg, deep cover point and third man on the fence. Who are you backing?
neither happens! Into the blockhole outside off. Neesham cannot get under it and hacks it straight back to Hazlewood. Dot to end the over!
Does Neesham take the single or try to hit a boundary?
wide yorker nailed to perfection. Neesham cannot dig it out and the umpire does not call it a wide either. Neesham is asking why that was the case but nothing he can do about it now
pierces the gap! Half-tracker outside off that just sits up to be hit. Neesham obliges and belts it between deep mid wicket and deep square leg! Brings up his fifty too, off just 33 balls!
off-pace and hung on a length outside off. Neesham throws everything at it and slices it on the bounce to deep cover point for a brace
25 off 10. Game very much on now
banged into the track outside off. Boult, in his inimitable manner, swats it down to long on for a single
has he stepped onto the ropes? Flashback of Boult doing something similar against England at Lord's all those years ago! Length outside off. Boult swings at it with all his might and launches it towards long on. Labuschagne takes the catch but then as he backpedals, his foot touches the rope. Boult the beneficiary this time!
A bit of running repairs for Neesham it seems, and probably a message from the dressing room. Hazlewood to bowl the penultimate over
32 needed off 12. Neesham has shown a lot of trust in Boult's batting abilities so far but if NZ are to get there, Neesham has to face a chunk of the 12 balls that remain
low full toss outside off. Boult drives it crisply to deep cover point and NZ take the single. Boult retains strike
Surely Boult has to play in even numbers this ball?
hard length on middle and leg, and this gets big on Neesham. Cloths his pull to deep square leg and settles for a single
fires it way down leg side, and Inglis does really well to get something behind it. Just the one extra added to NZ's total
Two balls left. A boundary (or a six) and then a single would be at the top of NZ's wish-list. 35 off 14 now. Mid off comes up. Four fielders on the fence on the leg side. Deep point on the fence too
low full toss outside off. Boult gets bat on it and bunts it down to mid off for a single
full and angled into off stump. Boult opens up his stance and drills it straight back at Starc
Around the wicket
Starc versus Boult. Australia will not mind this. Watch out for scurried singles and possible byes (and a run-out)
banged into the track on off stump. Neesham gets on top of the bounce and swipes it away to deep backward square leg. NZ take the single, surprisingly
six off the first ball! Slot ball on off stump. Neesham gets his front foot out of the way and pummels this over the fielder at long on!
Mojo Jojo: "Will Ferguson bat? " -- He is padded up but Boult coming in ahead of him tells you that he may not be in a great condition to run
|Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium, Dharamsala|
|Toss||New Zealand, elected to field first|
|Player Of The Match|
|Match number||ODI no. 4684|
|Hours of play (local time)||10.30 start, First Session 10.30-14.00, Interval 14.00-14.30, Second Session 14.30-18.00|
|Match days||28 October 2023 - day (50-over match)|
|Points||Australia 2, New Zealand 0|
Over 50 • NZ 383/9