New Zealand look to ram home advantage against Australia

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The New Zealand cricketers are determined to prove their 10-wicket humbling of Australia was not an aberration when they clash here on Sunday (today) in the second match of the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy series.

But their celebrations after the emphatic victory in the first match have been tempered by the loss of star all-rounder Jacob Oram with a broken finger.

The Kiwis produced a record-breaking performance on Friday and placed a huge question mark over the reigning world champions going into next month’s World Cup.

It was Australia’s heaviest one-day loss and the first time they have been beaten by 10 wickets in 646 One-day Internationals (ODIs). They are also in danger of losing their second consecutive series after being beaten 2-0 by England in the finals of the recent tri-series in Australia.

New Zealand have called in specialist batsman Peter Fulton to replace the injured Oram who will see a specialist on Monday (tomorrow) to determine the management of the injury.

Oram fractured the finger when catching Mitchell Johnson late in Australia’s meagre innings of 148. New Zealand surpassed that total without loss in just 27 overs with Lou Vincent not out 73 and captain Stephen Fleming unbeaten on 70.

It was just New Zealand’s third win in their past nine matches, a win-loss ratio that captain Fleming is acutely aware of.

As much as New Zealand need a back-up win, Australia must reverse their form slump and both sides are desperate to avoid further injuries as they fine-tune for the World Cup.

New Zealand’s chief wicket-taker, Shane Bond who finished the first match with 5-23, said it was important for New Zealand to keep the pressure on in the second game in Auckland and the third match in Hamilton on Tuesday. “The challenge for us is to keep them down. They keep a lot of sides down and we want to do it to them,” Bond said. Australia captain Michael Hussey admitted his patched-up side never threatened.
Source:The News

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This entry was posted on Sunday, February 18th, 2007 and is filed under General.

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