Image courtesy of: Zimbio
New Zealand opening batsman Martin Guptill’s impressive form with the bat continued during the first ODI against Australia in Auckland as he smashed an entertaining 90 to lead his side to a 159-run win.
However, Guptill was well supported by Henry Nicholls, who made 61, and the pace duo of Matt Henry and Trent Boult, who ripped through Australia’s top and middle order and finished with three wickets apiece.
Australia captain Steven Smith would have been brooding over his decision to bowl first as New Zealand got off to a strong start before skipper Brendon McCullum was clean bowled by James Faulkner for a quickfire 44.
Kane Williamson fell shortly after before Guptill and Nicholls took over. Guptill ended up making 90 off 76 balls, which included eight boundaries and five sixes, while Nicholls went on to make 61 off 67 deliveries, which included six boundaries and a six.
Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Thanks to small, but useful, contributions from the lower order, New Zealand ended up finishing on 307/8 off their 50 overs.
Faulkner, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Marsh picked up two wickets apiece, while John Hastings chipped in with one.
Chasing 308 to win, Australia found themselves in all sorts of trouble as Boult and Henry sliced through their batting line-up and reduced them to 41/6 in the ninth over.
Wicketkeeper Matthew Wade and Faulkner put up a fight as they made 37 and 36 respectively before they were both dismissed in quick succession. With Wade and Faulkner back in the pavilion, it wasn’t long until Baggy Greens were bundled out for 148.
Boult and Henry took three wickets apiece, while Mitchell Santner snapped up two and Adam Milne and Corey Anderson claimed one wicket each.
Smith was less than impressed with his side’s performance, and said: “We are going to have to move on quickly. I thought we pulled it back quite well, Guptill and McCullum got off to a great start, we pulled it back. 300 was par on this ground but we lost early wickets in the end. It was probably more the top order – six wickets in ten overs, you aren’t going to win many games after that.”
McCullum was delighted to go 1-0 up in the series, and said: “It was a really good performance, we could have got a few more but at half time we were really happy. 280 was par, we were happy with 300. It slowed up as the game went on. One of our tactical plays was to try and score as much as we could early on, it wasn’t the old fashioned way of building and scoring at the end, we had to capitalise against the new ball. I thought Nicholls’ presence at the crease was outstanding, to put together a partnership with Gup, they allowed us to get across 300.”
Guptill was named Man of the Match, and said: “I love playing here, home crowd and a good batting wicket, short boundaries and you have got to make the most of it.”