Ross Taylor made 117 to lead a record run chase as New Zealand beat Australia by five wickets in the second Chappell-Hadlee limited-overs cricket match on Sunday to clinch the three-match series 2-0.
After inflicting Australia’s heaviest-ever one-day loss, by 10 wickets, in Wellington on Friday, New Zealand chased down the Aussie’s total of 336-4 on Sunday to win with eight balls to spare, achieving the highest successful run chase on New Zealand soil.
The loss dislodged the Australians from the No 1 spot in world limited-overs cricket, handing the top ranking to South Africa five weeks out from the World Cup in the Caribbean.
Defending World Cup champion Australia will take a limited-overs losing streak of four matches into its title defence.
Australia’s position seemed impregnable after Mike Hussey smashed his second One-day International (ODI) century to lead Australia to its 336 total, batting first after New Zealand won the toss.
But Taylor’s 117 from 126 balls, and half centuries from Peter Fulton and Craig McMillan, carried New Zealand to a remarkable victory.
Taylor came to the wicket when New Zealand was 9-1 in the third over and exited when they were 228-4, needing 119 runs to win with almost 12 overs remaining.
Fulton, who was only called into the Kiwi team as a late replacement for the injured Jacob Oram, carried his bat through the remainder of the innings to make 76 not out from 65 balls.
After putting on 115 for the fourth wicket with Taylor, Fulton added 85 with McMillan at almost two runs per ball to ensure New Zealand’s victory. McMillan blasted 52 runs from 30 balls in the innings that finally changed the course of the match.
Australia is playing without key batsmen captain Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist and Andrew Symonds in this series, but it has been its bowling which has let it down in its most recent games.
Without paceman Brett Lee, who returned home with an ankle injury, Australia’s bowling lacked penetration and its fielding lost its usual edge as it came under increasing pressure.
It has now been beaten in the three biggest run chases in the history of limited-overs cricket during the last 12 months and its World Cup favouritism is being called into question.
Hussey topscored with 42 in Australia’s paltry 148 two days ago at Wellington, and again took the leading role in the innings, reaching his second one-day century from 81 balls before his dismissal for 105.
His entire innings comprised of only 84 balls and included eight fours and six sixes, or 68 runs from boundaries. He rushed from 85 to 103 with three successive sixes off stopgap bowler Lou Vincent.
Hussey shared a 130-run fourth-wicket partnership with Brad Hodge, which included a century stand from only 85 balls. Hodge went on to make 97, ensuring the assault on the New Zealand bowlers continued throughout Australia’s 50 overs.
Hodge ended the innings not out, still waiting for his first limited-overs century. He already has scores of 99 and 97 not out against New Zealand among his three one-day half centuries.
The third match in the series will be played on Tuesday (tomorrow) in Hamilton.
New Zealand won toss
M L Hayden c Vettori b Gillespie 24
P A Jaques c Fleming b Bond 3
†B J Haddin c & b Vettori 49
*M E K Hussey c Taylor b McMillan 105
B J Hodge not out 97
C L White not out 42
Extras (b1, lb5, w8, nb2) 16
Total (4 wkts, 50 overs) 336
Did not bat: S R Watson, G B Hogg, N W Bracken, G D McGrath, S W Tait
Fall: 1-26, 2-52, 3-122, 4-252
Bowling: Tuffey 10-0-80-0 (5w); Bond 9-4-39-1 (1nb, 1w); Gillespie 10-2-57-1; Vettori 10-0-54-1; Styris 4-0-34-0; McMillan 5-0-44-1 (1nb); Vincent 2-0-22-0
L Vincent c Jaques b Bracken 26
*S P Fleming c Haddin b Bracken 6
R L Taylor c Hussey b Watson 117
S B Styris c Hussey b Watson 17
P G Fulton not out 76
C D McMillan c Hussey b Watson 52
†B B McCullum not out 19
Extras (b1, lb11, w10, nb2) 24
Total (5 wkts, 48.4 overs) 337
Did not bat: D L Vettori, M R Gillespie, S E Bond, D R Tuffey
Fall: 1-9, 2-47, 3-113, 4-228, 5-313
Bowling: Bracken 10-1-66-2; McGrath 9.4-0-50-0; Tait 9-0-64-0 (2w); Watson 10-0-58-3 (1nb, 1w); Hogg 7-0-58-0 (2w); White 3-0-29-0 (1nb, 2w)
Result: New Zealand won by 5 wickets
Series: New Zealand lead the 3-match series 2-0
Man of the Match: Ross Taylor
Umpires: Aleem Dar (Pakistan) and A L Hill. TV umpire: B F Bowden. Match referee: M J Procter (South Africa)
First ODI: February 16 Wellington (d/n), New Zealand won by 10 wickets
Third & final ODI: Tuesday (tomorrow), Hamilton (d/n)
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