Auckland: In a bid to gift a classy farewell to the best Kiwi hard-hitting batsman and wicket-keeper Brendon McCullum, New Zealand started off the 3-match ODI series in a comprehensive manner by registering a 159-run win over Australia in the first ODI here on Wednesday.
The Black Caps defeated the Aussies by 159 runs in the first ODI here at the Eden Park.
Chasing a massive 308-run target, the visitors were bundled out for a mere 148 runs within 25 overs.
Wicket-keeper Matthew Wade and James Faulkner tried very hard to make it for the visitors. But failed to do so despite a pride-saving 79-run stand for the seventh wicket.
Australia lost six wickets quickly as the score came down to 41/6 in just nine overs. Kiwi pacers Trent Boult and Matt Henry demolished the top and middle-order by picking three wickets each in first nine overs.
Boult bagged three wickets by conceding 38 runs in 7 overs while Henry was bit expensive as he gave away 41 runs in his six overs. Mitchell Santner did the rest and bagged two wickets in two consecutive deliveries as he dismissed Kane Richardson and John Hastings in his first two deliveries of his first over.
Previously, Australian skipper Steve Smith invited the Kiwis to bat first after winning the toss. Kiwi openers Martin Guptill and McCullum started off well by making a 79-run opening stand in 11 overs before McCullum left the crease.
Baz scored a magnificent 44 off just 29 deliveries, including five boundaries and three maximums. This was a good beginning to his climax series.
Kane Williamson followed him as well by being dismissed on the eighth ball, he faced. He was dismissed without scoring a single run.
Despite the fall of two quick wickets, Guptill continued play his natural game along with Henry Nicholls and added 100-runs for the third wicket before Guptill was run out. Unfortunately, he couldn’t able to complete his century and got out for a valuable 90 runs off just 76 deliveries, including eight boundaries and five maximums.
Nicholls also played well for his solid 67-ball-61 run innings. But the slog over hitting from Santner, helped the hosts to go past 300-run mark as he scored an important 35 runs in the end. As a result, the hosts able to score 307/8 in their 50 overs which became more than enough to beat their long-time rivals.
New Zealand led the 3-match series 1-0 as the second game will be played on Saturday.
Guptill was judged the player of the match for his brilliant 90-run innings.
Speaking over the win, Kiwi skipper McCullum said, “It was a pretty good performance. We should have got more, but we were happy with what we got. The wicket slowed down for sure as the game progressed. It was a lot more difficult to score with the old ball. Guptill was good once again and we have got a great bowling attack, which did the job. We do have a good record against Australia here (at the Eden Park). We will enjoy this win. But we know that they will come hard at us in the next game.”
Meanwhile, Smith said that too many early wickets became the reason for their loss. “We have to move on quickly. Obviously it’s a three-match series. I thought we pulled it back quite well with the ball. 300 was about par on this sort of a ground, but we lost too many wickets up front. You are not going to win too many games if you lose 6 wickets that early,” said the Aussie skipper.