New Zealand’s opening pair once again failed to give a good start as Henry Nicholls (8) and Martin Guptill (20) departed shortly to Jason Behrendorff.
Though Kane Williamson (40) and Ross Taylor (30) shared a 57-run stand for the third wicket, the equation changed once Mitchell Starc got rid of Williamson and Pat Cummins accounted for Taylor.
From that point, the Kiwis lost their last 6 wickets for only 39 runs with none of the remaining players stand to face the fierce pace attack of Australian bowlers.The pacers took a total of 8 wickets while Smith and Nathan Lyon chipped in with a wicket. The poor shot selection of Kiwi batsmen cost them game.
The only bright spot for New Zealand was Trent Boult, who picked up their first-ever World Cup hat-trick getting 3 inch-perfect yorkers out in the final over of the Australian innings. He removed Usman Khwaja, Starc and James Behrendorff in the successive deliveries. Boult finished with 4-51.
He became the 2nd bowler after Mohammed Shami (achieved the feat against Afghanistan) to pick up a hat-trick in the ongoing edition of the World Cup tournament. However, it was Boult’s second ODI hat-trick as the left-arm pacer had picked up a hat-trick vs Pakistan in November 2018 in the UAE.
Earlier, choosing to bat after Aaron Finch won the toss, Australia was reeling at 92 for 5 at one stage after its top order failed to fire. Finch (8), David Warner (16), Steve Smith (5) were back to the pavilion as Australia found themselves in crisis at 46/3. Marcus Stoinis stuck around for a while, building a partnership with Khawaja, but he was caught behind on 21. Glenn Maxwell (1) also departed early, leaving Australia looking down the barrel at 92/5.
Then, Khawaja (88) and Alex Carey (71) forged a 106-run stand for the sixth wicket, taking Aussies to a respectable total after a horrendous start. Alex Carey became the Man of the Match.
Defending champion Australia registered their seventh win in the 2019 World Cup to comfortably sit at the top of the points table with 14-points.
However, New Zealand succumbed to their 2nd loss, as earlier Pakistan end their unbeaten run in this edition with six-wicket win at Birmingham on June 26. (UNI)