Australia retain Chappell-Hadlee Trophy

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Australia on Friday retained the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy after the crucial fifth and final ODI was called off due to heavy rain.

Updated: February 14, 2009 07:30 IST
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Australia on Friday retained the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy after the crucial fifth and final ODI was called off due to heavy rain during New Zealand's gutsy chase, leaving the series tied at 2-2.

The series-deciding match, which started five hours late from the scheduled start due to rains, was first reduced to a 22-over affair and, put into bat, Australia made 168 for four thanks mainly to unbeaten half centuries from wicketkeeper Brad Haddin (88) and Callum Ferguson (55).

New Zealand's run chase was further delayed by rain and their target was revised to 156 from 20 overs but the match was eventually called off after the 14th over when the visitors were 123 for six, needing 33 off six overs with four wickets in hand.

Opener Martin Guptill was batting on 64 in company of debutant Brendon Diamanti who was on 26.

New Zealand had won the first two matches in Perth and Melbourne. Australia, who retained the trophy by virtue of winning the last series between the two countries, made a come back by winning in Sydney and Adelaide.

New Zealand's run chase mainly revolved around a blistering 34-ball 64 not out by opener Guptill while his team-mates fell around him.

Australia achieved immediate success with Ben Hilfenhaus castling Brendon McCullum (2) with the second ball of the day.

Not to be deterred by the early setback, Guptill and one-down Peter Fulton scored at a brisk rate to reach 38 for one from three overs.

Then began the New Zealand slide, mainly due to extravagant shots. Fulton (22) top-edged Bracken to Ferguson and next man in, Ross Taylor (4), was also out trying for a big shot in the fifth over sent down by Mitchell Johnson.

At the other end, Guptill showed no signs of slowing down punishing Bracken and Johnson while his teammates made the procession to the pavilion.

Grant Elliott (0), Neil Broom (0) and Kyle Mills (1) fell in quick successions and New Zealand, from 40 for two after the fourth over, slumped to 73 for six after the eighth.

Guptill, who smashed five fours and three sixes, and Diamanti then starred in a 50-run stand from six overs for the unbroken seventh wicket before heavens opened up.

Earlier, Australia overcame a wobbly start and the unbroken fifth-wicket partnership of 98 runs from 65 balls between Haddin and Ferguson helped the hosts post a respectable 168 for four from their 22 overs.

Haddin hit five fours and three sixes in his 65-ball knock while Ferguson faced 35 balls, seven of which were dispatched to the fence.

None of the other top order batsmen, including captain Ricky Ponting and left-hander Michael Hussey, could reach double figures in the series-deciding match.

Put into bat, Australia, were immediately on the backfoot under damp and overcast conditions, being reduced to 20 for two by the fifth over.

Kyle Mills removed James Hopes (5) and Ponting (2) and both fell to unconvincing shots.

Hopes went for a wild swing only to hole out at mid-off while Ponting perished caught behind.

David Hussey (6) paid the price for attempting a wild swing to an Iain O'Brien delivery which nipped back only to see his leg stump cartwheeling.

Michael Hussey shared a 40-run stand for the fourth wicket with Haddin in which his contribution was just nine before he fell to Vettori. At that stage Australia were 70 for four.

For New Zealand, Mills grabbed two wickets for 22 while Vettori and Iain O'Brien took a wicket each.

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