#CWC15: Boult and Williamson keep Kiwi dreams alive with narrow Australia win

MATCH 20: New Zealand beat their tournament co-hosts and major rivals for the World Cup by one wicket in front of a partisan crowd at Eden Park after Trent Boult’s 5 for 27 rocked Australia.

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Under the Auckland sunshine saw a low scoring game that lived up to its billing.

Australia had raced out of the blocks at 69 for 1 after the initial 10-over powerplay, but Daniel Vettori showed all of his cunning to apply the breaks and dismiss Shane Watson and Steve Smith. He took 2 for 41 in his 10 overs, but it was Tim Southee and Player of the Match, Trent Boult, that did the major damage.

Southee uprooted the dangerous Aaron Finch’s off stump and had David Warner lbw. Boult, who at one stage had a spell of 5 for 1 in three overs, accounted for Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Marsh as he beat them for pace. Michael Clarke, who returned to lead the team at the expense of George Bailey, lobbed a catch straight to Kane Williamson.

Kane Williamson blasts the winning six

When Mitchell Starc was bowled by Boult, Australia were 106 for nine after 22 overs. Brad Haddin repaired some of the damage with 43 off 41 balls, but the final 151 all out in 32.2 overs didn’t look anywhere near enough. The home crowd were understandably delirious.

Brendon McCullum did his best to keep that support smiling as he seeked to rub the Aussies noses in it. He reached his fifty from only 21 balls, but fell three balls later to leave the scoreboard at 79 for two after only 7.4 overs.

Mitchell Starc with 6 for 28 however saw the game ending in the most tense of circumstances. He had taken the wicket of Martin Guptill (11) in his second over and the bowled Ross Taylor (1). Grant Elliott missed a swinging yorker and Australia began to believe.

Kane Williamson and Corey Anderson added a 52-run fifth-wicket partnership to take their team to the doorstep of victory, but the drama returned as Starc returned to dismiss Ronchi, Milne and Southee cheaply as 131 for five turned into 146 for nine.

With six runs still needed, and only one wicket in hand, Williamson kept his calm. He belted Cummins straight back over his head for a maximum and the Auckland pubs thought sell sell sell!

Williamson remained unbeaten on 45 from 42 balls with 5 fours and that very important six.

“I said to Pup ‘we should go and do it again!’,” said McCullum. “Starc bowled fantastically, as did Boult.

“They were both outstanding and the support acts were quality too,” he added. “The overall spectacle was outstanding.

“I hope the fans go home happy. I thought both teams were aggressive and there were Test match fields throughout. I wouldn’t swap Boult and Southee for anyone else.”

Meanwhile, Clarke said: “Clarke: “It was pretty similar tension the whole game. It was a very entertaining game. Our batting was horrendous, to put it politely, and Mitchell Starc is a genius. I think both teams will say they didn’t bat as well as they like. If you got in, it was still good to bat. Credit to the groundsman, and a fantastic crowd. I think the crowd wanted to see entertaining cricket, and I hope they go home happy. I thought New Zealand swung the ball well and executed their plans.”

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James Buttler

James has been working as a journalist and broadcaster in cricket since 2006 and was an avid fan for many years before that.
As the editor of World Cricket Badger he is intent on building the website to give quality coverage of the domestic game around the world.
He is also the presenter of the Cricket Badger Radio Show on Radio Yorkshire every Tuesday evening between 7-9pm UK time.
James was the full-time Media Manager at Yorkshire County Cricket Club between 2007 and 2010.
James is a published author, a writer/video contributor to many cricket publications and a complete cricket badger!

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