A remarkable game at the cricket World Cup ended with New Zealand taking the spoils and the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy.
New Zealand looked to be cruising towards their target as Brendon McCullum smashed another rapid half-century off just 21 balls and took the score to 78 for one in the eighth over. However, just as Australia had collapsed from a strong start against one left-armer, so the home side did against another. Mitchell Starc ran riot, clean-bowling Ross Taylor and Grant Elliott in the ninth over before returning to add some more spice to proceedings.
Corey Anderson and Kane Williamson had moved the Black Caps into another strong position by advancing the score to 131 during their fifth-wicket partnership of 52. Anderson, though, clubbed Glenn Maxwell to Pat Cummins to trigger another collapse. With only 13 runs needed, Starc had Luke Ronchi gloving behind and then returned to dispatch Adam Milne and Tim Southee to leave New Zealand nine down with six still needed.
Boult nervously saw off the final two balls of the over from Starc to leave Williamson - who was still there having watched his partners depart with increasing haste from the other end - on strike. He wasted little time in putting the match to bed and lofted Pat Cummins straight down the ground to clear the rope and leave the crowd at Eden Park jubilant and Australia dejected. Starc ended with six for 28 from nine overs.
Earlier in the day, the Australia innings had followed a similar pattern to that of their hosts as they reached 80 for one in the 13th over after choosing to bat. Daniel Vettori began the collapse by removing Shane Watson for 23, with Tim Southee then trapping David Warner leg-before for 34. Boult soon took over and decimated the middle-order. Swing, as usual, was his trusted ally, but he was also helped by some poor shot execution from the batsmen as five wickets came from three of his overs. Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Marsh were bowled in the 18th; Michael Clarke chipped to cover in the 20th; and Mitchell Johnson and Starc were dispensed with in the 22nd to leave their side reeling on 106 for nine.
Brad Haddin did lift them to 151 with a typically pugnacious 43, but their total of 151 should never have been anywhere near enough. Thanks to Starc's later excellence, it very nearly was as the match followed a course that no one could have predicted beforehand.
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