Wednesday, 28 June, 2017

Australia and New Zealand see ICC Champions Trophy game abandoned

Hilda Schwartz | 06 June, 2017, 06:48

The Trans-Tasman rivals Australia and New Zealand will face each other in the Champions Trophy 2017 group-A match at the Edgbaston today (Friday). Meanwhile, Luke Ronchi kept wicket in the triseries, then opened with Guptill against India at the weekend in a warmup and scored a 63-ball 66.

Hazlewood clinched the wickets of Adam Milne, Mitchell Santner and Trent Boult in the 45th over to bring the curtains down on the New Zealand innings.

Hosts England top the pool with two points, New Zealand and Australia have one each, and Bangladesh are on zero. And how do they balance that attack, with so many allrounders and frontline bowling options?

Having reached his hundred with seven overs to go, Williamson was run out after hesitating over a long single, a dismissal that precipitated a headlong rush from the middle-order, who promptly tossed their wickets away, losing four for 16 in 19 balls.

New Zealand appeared on track for victory, despite rain causing delays during the team's innings.

However, the skipper was furious at the performance of his bowlers, as the returning Mitchell Starc (0-52) and Pat Cummins (1-67) in particular, struggled with the line and length albeit on a flawless batting wicket.

That left the New Zealanders still well-placed on 254-4 but a late-innings flourish failed to materialize, and paceman Josh Hazlewood taking the final three wickets in a four-ball span for career-best figures of 6-52 off nine overs.

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"Guys come out and play aggressively and you are going to lose wickets", he said.

Then heavy rain forced the players off, just after Moises Henriques (18) went out at the end of the ninth over, and with 20 needed to be completed to get a result, the clock then became an issue.

Williamson fell soon after to a careless run-out, and Neil Broom followed for an ineffectual 14 from 18 balls as New Zealand threatened to lose some momentum, especially with Cummins returning to rattle helmets and deposit batsmen on their backsides.

Ronchi set the tone with 65 off 43 balls. "Although it is a little bit frustrating".

Starc (0/52) went wicketless in his return to global cricket post the injury he suffered in India earlier this year.

For New Zealand's captain, Kane Williamson, who top-scored on the day with a well-paced 100, the game was not completely wasted. Blackcaps pacemen Tim Southee and Trent Boult are proven performers in England, but Southee said: "We know the conditions, but you can't rely on that".

New Zealand beat Australia 2-0 in a home ODI series earlier this year and Williamson said Thursday: "We have played each other a lot, and we are fairly familiar with each other but teams are always trying to do (things) slightly different". When Maxwell is picked up by Anderson, there is still plenty of work to do for Australia, and this is where Head and Chris Lynn come in.

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