New Zealand managed to win the bragging rights in the battle of the hosts as they defeated Australia by 1 wicket in their Pool A encounter at Auckland. It was a match that was expected to be a high-scoring thriller but went on to be an absolute low scoring cracker which was completely dominated by the bowlers. Kane Williamson made the difference in the end with his unbeaten 45 that took his side home. Trent Boult was named as the Player of the Match.
A total of just over 300 runs were scored in the match in 56 overs of intense battle that saw some great exhibition of bowling from Trent Boult and Mitchell Starc. Chasing 153 to win, New Zealand were pegged back with some stunning bowling from Mitchell Starc. It was Brendon McCullum who drew the first blood as he smashed the Aussie bowlers all around the Eden Park before he perished for a quick-fire fifty. It was when the match turned on its head as New Zealand were 79/3 in 8.1 overs when the dinner was taken by the umpires.
When the match resumed, Grant Elliott was dismissed off the very first ball before Corey Anderson and Kane Williamson put on a crucial 52 run partnership for the fifth wicket. Glenn Maxwell was introduced into the attack and got his side into the game as he dismissed Anderson caught by Pat Cummins at mid-on. Starc and Cummins then cleaned up the lower middle order as the equation was down to 7 runs required off 28 overs with three wickets in hand. It was when Williamson took a single and gave the strike to Adam Milne. Starc knocked the stumps of Milne and Tim Southee off successive deliveries as it was down to 6 runs off 27.2 overs. Boult survived those two deliveries and Williamson took his side with a six over long-on.
Earlier in the day, Australia were bundled out for 152, after they were 80-3. Some valuable runs from Brad Haddin towards the end took his side to a decent yet below par total. Check out what happened in the Australian innings here.
Brief Scores: Australia 151 (Brad Haddin 43, Trent Boult 5-27, Tim Southee 2-65, Dan Vettori 2-41) lost to New Zealand 152 for 9 (Brendon McCullum 50, Kane Williamson 45*, Mitchell Starc 6-28) by one wicket.