VB ODI Series v New Zealand
Warner outscores NZ, Aussies win 3-0
Another David Warner century and a complete bowling performance secures 3-0 series win
Dave Middleton at the Melbourne Cricket Ground
9 December 2016, 11:30 PM AEST
The scorecard: Australia 8-264 (Warner 156, Boult 3-49) beat New Zealand 147 (Guptill 34, Starc 3-34) by 117 runs (Australia win the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy 3-0)
The match in a tweet: Warner outscores New Zealand himself, Starc on song and Smith snares a blinder as the Black Caps are whitewashed 3-0 with another hiding
The hero: Clearly David Warner, who beat the Black Caps all by himself. We could go on and on about his brilliance with the bat - or you could just watch the highlights of his masterpiece yourself!
The celebration: If you had a 11 guesses at which Australian cricketer was nicknamed The Reverend, your last would be David Warner. But that is exactly what Warner's teammates have taken to calling the opener. "It's just a bit of an in-house joke. The boys call me The Reverend now because they reckon The Bull's been tamed a little bit," Warner told Wide World of Sports after Australia's innings. Upon reaching three figures, in addition to his trademark 'Toyota leap', the left-hander celebrated by raising his right arm in the air and bringing his left hand, which was holding his bat, to his chin. He had also briefly held the pose upon reaching his century in Canberra on Tuesday, and his repeat performance today had many curious as to its significance.
Quick Single: Why Warner's century was extra special
The catch: How good is Steve Smith in the field? The Australia captain must have honey on his hands! And while the SCG effort will live long in the memory, the diving effort at second slip to take the final wicket here would be top of the highlight reel for just about any other player. Simply unbelievable.
The monster six: When David Warner is in form like this, the last thing you want to do is give him a free hit. Yet that's exactly what New Zealand speedster Lockie Ferguson did. Having cranked up the pace with a series of balls above 150kph in an earlier spell, a front-foot no ball in the 45th over was a gift not to be overlooked. Whether Warner was expecting the 121kph slower ball, or was in such superb form it didn't matter anyway, the ball was launched. It flew high, it flew straight, it flew long. Measured at 99 metres, it was dropped by a fan in the Great Southern Stand.
The drop: Henry Nicholls had already taken two catches, both at square leg, when Warner top-edged a pull shot in his direction on the deep midwicket fence from the last ball of the 13th over. Nicholls sprinted forward and dived away to his left, but the ball burst through his fingers. It would prove to be rather costly. The very next ball, from Mitchell Santner, disappeared back over the off-spinner's head and into the Great Southern Stand as Warner went on to score another 138 runs.
The stat: There's not too many three-match ODI series played by Australia, but David Warner just set a new run-scoring record in one. Warner's scores of 24, 119 and 156 this series saw him aggregate 299 runs at the expense of the New Zealand bowlers. It surpassed the previous best – 294, set by Shane Watson against Bangladesh in 2011. Needless to say, it also set a new record in Chappell-Hadlee matches, beating the 241 Ricky Ponting scored (in just two innings mind you) back in late 2007.
The lucky break: Well, lucky if your name is Matthew Wade. Cricketers named Trent Boult may have a different view. Coming over the wicket, Boult had Wade hopping as he tried to turn a ball off his hip. Instead it dropped down at the batsman's feet and rolled back towards the stumps. Wade's despairing dive to bat it away missed and the ball hit the stumps. It hit with enough force to actually move the stump backwards but not dislodge the bail.
The funky captaincy: Brendon McCullum was known for being unafraid to try things out, and with the series lost and something in need of a change, Kane Williamson lifted a page from the former skipper's book. It started before the first ball was even bowled when Williamson removed the second slip – usually a standard position for the power play overs – and put in a short catching cover. There were three catchers on the leg side against George Bailey, and when Travis Head was starting out, five men on the off-side close in and in the batsman's sight lines.
The tactical genius: The Australians sure have done their homework on Martin Guptill. In Canberra, with Guptill off to a flyer, we saw a glimpse of Steve Smith's tactical genius when he instructed Pat Cummins to bowl cross seam and the subsequent ball did just enough to find Guptill's edge. And here in Melbourne, Smith was at it again. Guptill had 34 on the board from the first 15 overs when Smith threw the ball to Travis Head. The part-timer, who continues to keep Glenn Maxwell out of the side, had just enough on it to entice Guptill into a booming drive. It flew just above head height like a rocket, but was directed right over the top of George Bailey who hung on to the catch.
The Starc show: Rest and rotation be damned, Australia wasn't going to change a winning combination and rest a fast bowler. Mitchell Starc may not have always been at his best against South Africa in the Test series but the lethal left-armer was fast and furious at the MCG. Some 18 months ago in the World Cup, Starc put Australia on the path to glory in the first over when he bowled Brendon McCullum with the third ball. It took a little longer tonight – the final ball of the 17th over, in fact - before that yorker landed perfectly. The result was similar – Henry Nicholls had no answer and his woodwork disturbed. Colin Munro followed in a later spell as Starc found reverse-swing to tail it in late. And the only thing saving Mitch Santner's stumps was his front leg, which was struck in front of middle.
The wash-up: Australia's Test squad will immediately head to Brisbane with the opening Commonwealth Bank Test against Pakistan at the Gabba starting on Thursday, while those not playing Test cricket head to their respective KFC Big Bash League franchises for the holiday season. The Black Caps, meanwhile, head home for a short break to regroup before Bangladesh arrive for a series of ODIs that begin on Boxing Day.
Australia: David Warner, Aaron Finch, Steve Smith, George Bailey (c), Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Matthew Wade, James Faulkner, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood
New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Kane Williamson (c), Henry Nicholls, Colin Munro, BJ Watling, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult
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