Qantas ODI Tour of New Zealand 2017
NZ win epic despite Stoinis heroics
Allrounder posts magnificent maiden ODI century as Aussies fall agonisingly short of a remarkable victory
Adam Burnett at Eden Park, Auckland
30 January 2017, 11:45 PM AEST
The scorecard: New Zealand 9-286 (Broom 73, Guptill 61, Stoinis 3-49) beat Australia 280 (Stoinis 146no, Santner 3-44) by six runs
The match in a tweet: Another Eden Park classic! Sensational Stoinis’ stunning solo act not enough as NZ take first blood in Chappell-Hadlee thriller #NZvAUS
The frantic finish: Marcus Stoinis (much more on him below) got Australia to within seven runs of the most improbable of victories, when his final partner Josh Hazlewood was dramatically run-out by Kiwi captain Kane Williamson to end one of the craziest Chappell-Hadlee matches of them all. But let's go back to the beginning…
The injury shock: In a remarkably chaotic morning for the tourists, captain and wicketkeeper Matthew Wade was an eleventh hour omission due to back spasms, leaving Aaron Finch to take the reins as stand-in skipper and Peter Handscomb to don the gloves. Young Queensland left-hander Sam Heazlett replaced Wade in the XI to become Australia's 220th ODI player. The forecast for Wade at this stage is a reasonably positive one; he's expected to recover in time for Thursday's match in Hamilton to become his country's 25th ODI captain – and third in eight days.
The second-game superstar: Stoinis made four runs and bowled four wicket-less overs for 17 in an innocuous ODI debut in England 16 months ago, but today was a different story altogether for the Victorian, who single-handedly turned a one-sided flop into an absolute thriller, with one of the most memorable maiden hundreds ever registered in Australian gold. The allrounder is a replacement for the injured Mitch Marsh on this tour and performed an admirable impression of the Western Australian with the ball, bustling in with energy and intent, and capturing the prized wicket of Kane Williamson (24) with the final delivery of his first over. Better was to come for Stoinis, who then clean bowled a well-set Guptill before removing dangerman Colin Munro an over later. But few would have predicted just how much better was still to come, as the 27-year-old provided a stunning display of his ability with the bat, keeping Australia afloat and pacing his innings with a level of foresight and clarity belying his experience. It wasn't until he approached his hundred that his strike-rate went beyond 100, and while he benefited from a couple of dropped chances along the way, this was an innings of considerable substance; a thoroughly deserved century played out with his back to the wall. The milestone was reached with a massive six – his sixth – from Trent Boult's bowling over long on, and met with a standing ovation from the Eden Park crowd. But he wasn’t done there. His next 46 runs came in a flurry of fours and sixes as he and Hazlewood shared a remarkable half-century stand – of which the No.11 contributed precisely nought. Ultimately, it wasn’t enough, as Hazlewood was caught short after backing up too far in looking to pinch a single from the final ball of the 47th over.
The winning knock: While Stoinis stole the show, it was Neil Broom who swept all before him (sorry) as he took the long handle (last one) to the visitors, resuscitating a Black Caps innings that had flat-lined after they lost 3-6 in the space of 16 balls. The 33-year-old had averaged just 20 against Australia from nine previous innings, with a best of 37, but he carried on his impressive form from the Bangladesh series (he posted scores of 109no and 97 in his last two starts) to help his side to what proved to be a winning total. The right-hander came to the crease in the 23rd over with the score at 3-128 and didn't depart until his side had reached 9-269 in the 49th, hitting four fours and three sixes en route to an impressive 73 from 75 balls. He found strong support in Jimmy Neesham (48 from 45) during a valuable 80-run stand for the sixth wicket.
The local boy: Martin Guptill loves batting at Eden Park. The Auckland-born opener has a penchant for plundering boundaries at the worst of times but within the postage-stamp confines of this venue he can be devastating. Guptill averages 66.81 here and the big-hitting right-hander quickly set about matching that standard, hurrying the Black Caps' run-rate along in the early stage of the innings as he entertained the Auckland crowd on the city's Anniversary Day public holiday. He was dropped on 15 by stand-in 'keeper Handscomb and kicked on to make an important 61.
The collapse: The Australians (Stoinis aside) do not love batting at Eden Park. Two years ago they lost their first five wickets for 96, one year ago it was 5-40, and today they slumped to 5-54 inside 13 overs. It was a combination of good bowling, good catching and rash shot-making that brought the tourists undone, the latter a particularly disappointing part of their performance given they'd vowed to take their time building the foundation of the innings before looking to capitalise on the small boundaries late on. Captain Finch (4) could consider himself unlucky, having middled a pull shot only to see it scream into the hands of a leaping Neesham at square leg. Last-start centurion Travis Head (5) and fit-again left-hander Shaun Marsh (16) will both be disappointed with their dismissals though, the former lashing loosely at a wide delivery from Trent Boult and being caught at third man, and the latter advancing to Mitch Santner only to be deceived by the left-arm spinner and easily stumped by new Black Caps 'keeper Tom Latham. Peter Handscomb (7) looked determined to lay a foundation and Glenn Maxwell (20) did exactly that, but the Victorians both came unstuck when they prodded at balls outside their off stump and feathered edges through to Latham. Heazlett fell the same way during a fast, hostile spell from speedster Lockie Ferguson (2-44) as the 21-year-old tried to salvage something of the contest in what was always going to be a difficult assignment for the debutant.
The stat: Pat Cummins didn't have his finest day with the ball, conceding 67 from nine overs and being hit around by Trent Boult at the close of the NZ innings, but he did reach an impressive personal milestone. The Blues quick now boasts 50 ODI wickets from 27 matches, making him the fourth-fastest Australian to reach the mark after Dennis Lillee, Shane Warne and Len Pascoe. He then backed up his two wickets with a career-best 36 to help Stoinis on his remarkable charge towards that thrilling conclusion.
The non-catch: Hazlewood did everything right to pluck this superb boundary catch late in New Zealand's innings … well, almost everything.
The non-dismissal: The catch wasn't the only unusual incident involving Hazlewood; the rangy Blues quick was a little surprised when this one was given out, only for the decision to be reversed by the third umpire.
The wash-up: Australia find themselves in the same position in this series 12 months ago, and recovered from a first-up defeat in Auckland to square the series three days later in Wellington. This time they travel to Hamilton for a day-night clash on Thursday. The Black Caps will be determined to regain the silverware then and there, while for the Aussies, it's very much a case of back to the drawing board ahead of round two.