Auckland: Pacer Trent Boult ripped through the Australian batting line-up with a career-best five-wicket haul as New Zealand bowled out their trans-Tasmanian rivals for a paltry 151 in their pool A ODI cricket match of the ICC World Cup on Saturday.
After bowling out Australia for their lowest total ever, New Zealand opener Marti Guptill, on the first ball of the match hit Mitchell Jhonson for a boundary which was a no ball. So technically the first ball of the match was a free hit, which Guptill sent for a six. New Zealand’s team score was 11/0 in just 1 ball.
Earlier, Australia lost eight wickets for a mere 26 runs before a last-wicket stand of 45 between Brad Haddin (43) and Pat Cummins (7 not out) lent some respectability to the scorecard.
Boult finished his 10 overs, including three maidens, with five wickets which cost a mere 27 runs, prompting the packed stadium to give a standing ovation to the 25-year-old for his effort.
It was a stunning collapse for the Aussies, who were rather well-placed at 50 for one in 5.3 overs to start with. They moved to 80 for one in 12.5 overs before New Zealand roared back into the proceedings riding on Boult’s firepower and veteran spinner Daniel Vettori’s stifling spell.
Vettori finished with figures of 2/41 in his 10 overs. The Kiwi bowlers disciplined effort was also helped to an extent by the poor shot-selection of the Australians some of whom were guilty of quite literally throwing away their wickets.
Among the batsmen who got out to loose shots was inspirational skipper Michael Clarke (12), who was playing his first international match since recovering from a hamstring surgery last month.
Opener David Warner’s 34 was the only contribution worth a mention among the top-order batsmen, who found Boult and Vettori simply too hard to score of.
In fact, had it not been for Haddin’s 41-ball knock, laced with four fours and a couple of sixes, Australia could well have been bowled out for their lowest ever World Cup total.