Kiwis stun Australia in thrilling series opener

Updated: 01 February 2009 16:01 IST

Australia's misery continued with New Zealand pipping them by two wickets to clinch a low-scoring thriller and take a 1-0 lead in the five-match ODI series

Kiwis stun Australia in thrilling series opener

Australia's misery continued with New Zealand on Sunday pipping them by two wickets to clinch a low-scoring thriller and take a 1-0 lead in the five-match ODI series.

Chasing a victory target of 182, New Zealand huffed and puffed before Ross Taylor (64) propped them up.

Needing five runs off the last over, the Kiwis levelled the score in the fifth ball before captain Daniel Vettori hit the winning run off the last delivery from Nathan Bracken.

Earlier, after Australia captain Ricky Ponting had decided to bat first, Kiwi spearhead Kyle Mills (4/35) and his bowling colleagues skittled out the hosts for 181 in 48.4 overs.

The score could have been even more embarrassing for the hosts but for some useful contributions from Michael Hussey (49) and Brad Haddin (31).

Like Australia, New Zealand too suffered a top order collapse before Taylor steadied the ship with a 97-ball 64 that included six fours besides a six.

The Kiwis fumbled early in their chase as Shaun Tait trapped a scoreless Brendon McCullum with the second ball of the innings.

Bracken then removed Martin Guptil (13) and Mitchel Johnson caught Peter Fulton (7) off his own bowling to compound New Zealand's problems and Grant Elliot's (8) dismissal in the 23rd over left the visitors reeling at 64 for four.

The Kiwis found their saviour in Taylor who added 42 runs with Neil Broom (29) and another 62 with Mills (26) before another batting collapse. In the end, Vettori ensured his side ended up on the right side of the edge-of-the-seat thriller.

Mills was adjudged Man of the Match for his all-round show. Both the teams now move to Melbourne for the second ODI on Friday.



Topics : Cricket New Zealand
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