Australia’s bowlers backed up captain Ricky Ponting’s second successive one-day international century to lead their side to a 114-run win and series victory against New Zealand in Hobart on Thursday.
Ponting, who made 107 not out in Australia’s seven-wicket victory in the first game in Adelaide, struck an unbeaten 134 in his side’s imposing 282 for six off 50 overs. It was Ponting’s 25th century in one-day internationals.
His bowlers, led by Brett Lee, then ripped through the Black Caps at regular intervals to dismiss them for 168 in 34 overs. Scott Styris was the top scorer for New Zealand with 75.
The 2-0 series victory regained the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy for Australia, which they had lost earlier this year in New Zealand. The second match on Sunday in Sydney was washed out.
Ponting was named man of the match and series. He scored 241 runs without being dismissed and was instrumental in anchoring his team’s superb batting performances.
”It has been a good couple of weeks … I think the team has played really well throughout the series,” Ponting said in a televised interview.
”Adelaide went well, we had a good start in Sydney and then we played very well today.
”The build-up was that this game was like a final and the guys had some good training sessions and the intensity was there, which is normal when we have big games and they delivered.”
New Zealand’s run chase began abysmally with both Brendon McCullum (six) and Jamie How (two) caught by wicketkeeper Brad Haddin chasing wide deliveries from Lee.
New Zealand’s batsmen then failed to establish any partnerships with Mathew Sinclair (14) trapped leg before by James Hopes before Ross Taylor (13) played across the line and was dismissed in the same fashion by Shaun Tait.
Jacob Oram (two) was well caught by Brett Lee in the deep before left-arm wrist spinner Brad Hogg, hoping to replace the injured Stuart MacGill in the Test squad, did his selection chances no harm with two wickets in his first over.
Hogg had Gareth Hopkins caught low down by Michael Clarke at square leg for nine, though television replays were unclear as to whether the fielder had got his fingers under the ball.
He then had New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori caught by Haddin for nought, three balls later, to all but end the visitors’ run chase.
”It was a decent wicket that slowed down a little bit but the way they bowled was a bit too much,” said Vettori. ”They were just too good for us.”
Ponting had shared in a 114-run partnership with Andrew Symonds (52) after they initially struggled with their timing on an inconsistently-paced pitch.
Oram was the pick of the New Zealand bowlers with two wickets for 34 runs. – Reuters