The bells were already tolling for Australia when The Bond walked out with bristles in the face. New Zealand carried the momentum of their thrilling T20 win into this ODI, but they had to take the first blow when Dan the Man was forced to hand the lead over to Ross The Boss. Then Ross sent Southee in to open and Timmy got clubbed by Watson for 14; Watto could as well have slapped Ross with shoes. But the MIB just shrugged it off, and kept running in. With Vettori out NZ were short of Poisonhands, but good fielding, Tuffey on fire and a couple of magnificent bowled'ims and catches restricted Oz to way below 300 despite the ritualistic crap umpiring, and by that time Punter probably knew that his men needed to bowl the hell out of the NZ batters and induce one of these nice handy Kiwi implosions, if they wanted to sack this match and maintain their invincibility at the One-Dayers. Highlight of the Australian innings was besides Watson's opening whoopdidoo sure the return of the real Hussey, who contributed one of his pleasently realiable Muss knocks.
Demise was drawing up at the horizon when the Kiwis came out to bat. With Oram injured in the field they were basically one man short. The real McCullum as well as Peter Ingram made me forget all my rants about the NZish opening, Seventoes... ah well, he took a great catch. Styris the old battle-hardened warhorse stampeded over the Australian bowlers, nicely aided by a yelling Bondster, whose two boundaries should prove to be crucial contributions to the NZish win. But it was the captain who lead his men from the front with a superb fearless 70 and laid the foundation for Styris' triumph. His innings also included the most spectacular catch of the match (sorry Muss :P):
The Aussie bowlers did their best to stop the rampant Kiwi chase but compared to their own innings they always seemed to lag behind a little. Bolly brought his celebration pirouette to perfection and spiralled himself up into the sky when he finally took McCullum. Each of the bowlers, Clarke aside, chipped in with scalps, but Harris wasn't quite his lethal apish self this time (I blame the ground), which might have been one of the factors that cost Oz the match. The agricultural sector surprisingly turned out to be one of Australia's bigger problems, the plough work in the field looked nervous and several misfields as well as missed run out chances extended New Zealand's lives and helped the black warriors to keep the scoreboard ticking. Pitifully the innings hit rock bottom when Mitch decided to go Watto and take his "puff the chest out" thing over the top. He was fined 60% of the match fee but I doubt he will have taken any lessons from that. Grow up Mitch. The match ended with a cracker when Styris grabbed Bolly by the collar and kicked him straight across the park for six. What else is there to say, awesome cricket, and big congrats @Ross on the first victory under his reign. Really nice guy. Now NZ have won a battle, but they haven't won the war. Don't miss the next clash on Saturday!
Okay okay!!! Calm down! Here's the Muss! Alright? ;)
Because I can't let you go without this. :P