Tuesday, February 9, 2016

New Zealand Gift McCullum Farewell Win and Chappell-Hadlee Trophy

Australia Vs New Zealand at Seddon Park in Hamilton: Feb 8, 2016 - Match Review

New Zealand beat Australia by 55 Runs

It was Brendon McCullum's last ODI match and his team mates made sure that their Captain Fantastico left the field with happy memories after they defended a modest total of 246 at Seddon Park in Hamilton furiously to set up a 55 run victory over arch rivals Australia to claim the Chappel-Hadlee Trophy 2-1.

Steve Smith won the toss and decided that on a small ground chasing would be a better option. New Zealand were forced to make two changes from the last game, a foot ailment forcing Santner out allowing leg spinner Ish Sodhi to have a game and Trent Boult was unwell which meant that Doug Bracewell took his place.

It was Brendon McCullum's final ODI innings and he went out in a blaze of glory. There was a shower of fours and sixes, of all the madness that he brings to the crease, everyone watching on with a bated breath. By the time McCullum was out in the 10th over New Zealand had raced away to 84 with him contributing 47 off just 27 balls including 6 fours and 3 huge sixes. His wicket allowed the Australian team to slow down the run scoring a bit and the Kiwis suffered a double blow when both Williamson and Guptill fell in successive overs to Boland and Zampa. New Zealand were 131-3 in the 20th over with Guptill making 59 off 61 balls.

Grant Eliott stitched two important partnerships of 40 and 52 with Nicholls and Anderson to lend some stability to the Kiwi innings as he reached his own 50 off 62 balls. But the wicket of Anderson on 223 in the 41st over opened the flood-gates as New Zealand lost their last six wickets for just 23 runs to finish on 246, a score which looked under par on the small Seddon Park ground. All the Kiwi bowlers picked up a wicket except Maxwell and it was Mitch Marsh who was the most successful with 34-3 off his 6 overs.

Warner and Khawaja started off where they had left in the last game thrashing boundaries at will to reach 39 in just the 5th over before Warner fell to Henry for 16. But Khawaja continued to play his shots and his wicket in the 12th over saw a mini collapse when Australia lost 3-19, Ish Sodhi bowling a double wicket over snapping both Smith and Maxwell in the same over.

Bailey and Marsh had put on 59 to steady the Aussie ship when Bailey was bowled for 33 and when 10 runs later Marsh was adjudged out to a controversial decision the Aussie's had breathed their last. Marsh squeezed back a ball from Henry who catching it appealed half-heartedly. The ball had presumably kissed the ground before popping up and only after the Umpire saw that that might not be the case he referred it to the 3rd umpire who duly gave Marsh out after seeing the replays.

There was to be no resurgence from the Australians this time around and they were bowled out for just 191. Henry picked up 3 wickets while Corey Anderson and Doug Bracewell bowled miserly spells of 6 overs for 16 and 15 runs respectively while also claiming 3 wickets between them which had a huge impact in slowing the Aussies in the middle overs.

The curtains were drawn on a fabulous career and Brendon McCullum played his part in the series win both with the bat and with his attacking captaincy. Farewell Baz!!

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

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