New Zealand vs Australia 1st ODI: New Zealand outlast Stoinis’ blitz to claim nail-biting win

Stoinis’ maiden ODI century was not enough to lead Australia to victory

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Marcus Stoinis gave it everything he had to try and lead Australia to, what would have been, an incredible come-from-behind win, but in the end, his career-best knock of 146 not out went in vain as New Zealand managed to escape with a six-run win in the first ODI in Auckland.

Stoinis’ superb innings was the second-highest score by a No. 7 batsman in ODI history. The highest belongs to New Zealand wicketkeeper-batsman Luke Ronchi, who blasted an incredible 170 not out against Sri Lanka in Dunedin in January 2015.

Opting to bowl first, Australia got an early breakthrough as Mitchell Starc had stand-in wicketkeeper Tom Latham caught behind for just seven runs.

Martin Guptill and captain Kane Williamson made up for the loss of Latham with a 74-run partnership before Williamson was dismissed by Stoinis for 24.

Ross Taylor could only make 16 runs before being clean bowled by Travis Head, while Guptill went on to make 61 off 73 balls, which included eight boundaries, before he was cleaned up by Stoinis.

Guptill scored his 32nd ODI fifty

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Colin Munro was back in the pavilion shortly after, but Neil Broom and James Neesham stemmed the flow of wickets with a 76-run stand.

Josh Hazlewood provided the breakthrough for Australia as he sent Neesham packing for 48 before New Zealand’s collapse resumed.

Broom ended up making 73 off 75 deliveries, which included four boundaries and three sixes, as the Black Caps finished on 286/9 off their 50 overs.

Broom made his third ODI half-century

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Stoinis was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets, while Pat Cummins snapped up two and Starc, Hazlewood, Head and James Faulkner chipped in with one wicket apiece.

Chasing 287 to win, New Zealand’s bowling attack completely speared through Australa’s top and middle order to leave the tourists in all sorts of trouble at 67/6 in the 19th over.

Stoinis and Faulkner put up a fight in the form of an 81-run partnership, during which Stoinis brought up his fifty, before Faulkner was clean bowled by Munro for 25.

Cummins made a quickfire 36 before Starc fell not long after for just three runs.

Even though Australia only had one wicket in hand, Stoinis continued to take the attack to New Zealand and scored all the runs in his 54-run partnership with Hazlewood.

But, just as Australia were within touching distance of a remarkable victory, disaster struck as Hazlewood was run out by Williamson for a duck.

Stoinis was left unbeaten on 146 off 117 balls, which included nine boundaries and 11 sixes, as New Zealand celebrated their thrilling win.

Stoinis, though, etched his name in the record books as he became the first Australian player to score a hundred and take three or more wickets in an ODI.

Furthermore, the 11 sixes he hit put him in second place on the all-time list of most maximums struck in an innings for Australia.

Mitchell Santner was the most successful bowler with three wickets, while Trent Boult and Lockie Ferguson took two wickets apiece. Munro and Tim Southee, meanwhile, claimed one wicket each.

Australia stand-in captain Aaron Finch was gutted to have come so close to winning from an improbable position, and said: “That’s a rollercoaster. Probably one of the best one-day performances [from Stoinis]. Just couldn’t get over the line. You are aiming to get it deep, you never know what happens. I thought we were sloppy; the all-round performance. We believed we could chase 287, the ball flies at Eden Park. A lot of extras and wides, you can nitpick anything. Just a bit of a shoulder twinge [while batting]. I will get through it.”

Williamson was relieved to have come out on top, and said: “As Finchy mentioned, it was a rollercoaster. The way Marcus played for a good part of 35 overs was fantastic. He deserves to be the Man of the Match. On these sort of grounds, you need to look to take wickets. The way they built partnerships late gave us a chance too. Eden Park has produced some thrillers, and nice to be involved in this. It [Placing myself at short mid-on] was hopefully to gather a throw from somebody and avoid a direct-hit maybe.We need to be better going into Napier.”

Stoinis was named Man of the Match, and said: “It may sink in later, the win was the priority. Some sad faces in the dressing room. I am not experienced for these grounds. Finch gave me the confidence – I had a full crack at ten overs. The key was not to panic. The first instinct is to score quicker. Jimmy [Faulkner] was good out there to bat with. We calmed each other down, and at the end we had a crack at it. Sometimes, the plans don’t come off. A performance like this does well for your confidence, but consistency is the key. Hopefully, I back it up.”

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