New Zealand make 286-9 in 1st ODI vs Australia
AUCKLAND: Half centuries by Martin Guptill and Neil Broom book-ended a costly middle-order collapse which restricted New Zealand to 286-9 as it batted first on Monday in the opening Chappell-Hadlee one-day cricket international against Australia.
Guptill made 61 from 73 balls at the top of the order and Broom made 73 from 75 balls with the tail to give New Zealand momentum at the start and end of its innings after it lost the toss and was sent-in.
But that momentum faltered through the middle overs as Marcus Stoinis, recalled to the Australian team for his second one-day international and his first since September, took three wickets to bring Australia back into the match.
Leg-spinner Travis Head also played an important role during that period as New Zealand went from 87-1 in the 14th over to 134-5 in the 26th, losing Kane Williamson (24), Ross Taylor (16), Guptill and Colin Munro (2) as its scoring rate faltered.
James Neesham helped revive the innings, scoring 48 from 45 balls in an imporant partnership of 76 with Broom for the sixth wicket, then Broom did his best to build some tail order resistance around his third one-day international half century.
Australia's decision to bowl on winning the toss was a surprise. It is almost a rule of thumb for Australian teams to bat first in all formats and the drop-in pitch at Eden Park looked rock hard and full of runs.
The decision fell to Aaron Finch who, on his recall to the Australian one-day lineup, found himself captain when first Steve Smith withdrew from the New Zealand tour with an ankle injury, then Matthew Wade — Smith's replacement as captain — pulled out of the opening match after hurting his back in training.
Finch's decision seemed to have backfired as New Zealand, after losing opener Tom Latham at 13, hurried along at more than six runs per over in the early party of its innings, with Guptill reaching his 32nd ODI half century from 47 balls with eight fours.
But the Australian bowlers showed they had learned the hard lessons of bowling on Eden Park, where they were narrowly beaten by New Zealand during the pool stages of the 2015 World Cup.
The ground asks a great deal of bowlers, and their supporting fielders, because of its extraordinarily short straight boundaries. Anything too full is easily punished down the ground and short deliveries can easily be ramped over the slip cordon for boundaries.
Australia denied New Zealand the chance to score in that fashion Monday and it was exceptional that the first six of the home team's innings did not come until the 38th over. It was from Broom's bat and he finished with three of the four sixes which eventually embellished the New Zealand total.
That total was inflated by a partnership of 17 from eight balls for the last wicket between Lockie Ferguson and Trent Boult, who took 16 runs from the last over.
The Australian bowlers did especially well when they were able to take the pace off the ball. Stoinis kept a nagging line and length with his medium pace, which put pressure on the New Zealand middle order. He finished with 3-49 while Head took 1-21 from five overs.