Magic Marsh plays a winning hand

06 February 2016

Honours even in Chappell-Hadlee Series as Marsh, Hastings rescue Aussies in Wellington

New Zealand v Australia ODIs, Second ODI


The match in a tweet: We're headed for a decider! Black Caps make 9-281, Warner & Khawaja respond with century stand but mid-innings collapse paves way for Marsh & Hastings rescue act #NZvAUS

The hero: It looked like this might have been Kane Williamson, or Mitchell Santner, or David Warner, but the twists and turns of this tale instead ended at the feet of Mitchell Marsh. Regularly maligned, often undervalued, Marsh's match-winning hand must be considered the best of his international career to date. He arrived at the middle with Australia in strife at 4-144 – a little over halfway to their target of 282 – and New Zealand swarming like an angry mob. It wasn't until the ninth ball he faced that he got off the mark, but it was the beginning of a calculated, mature riposte from the 24-year-old, who adjusted to the conditions, found his feet, and eventually dictated terms. He cruised past 50 at better than a run a ball, routinely taking up Brendon McCullum's invitation to show off his pull shot. He finished unbeaten on 69 (72), giving Australia a four-wicket win, and also took a handy 2-30 with the ball.

Watch: Warner, Khawaja set strong platform 

The support cast: David Warner looked in exceptional nick in compiling his highest score in an overseas ODI. The left-hander has been hit-and-miss by his lofty Test standards when it comes to the 50-over game, but it was all hit today as he smashed eight fours and four sixes in an entertaining 98 (79). Going shot for shot with him through Australia's first 122 runs was Usman Khawaja (50 from 49), who justified the furore surrounding his previous non-selection with another half-century full of sweetly-timed boundaries. And a special mention to John Hastings, who was again economical with the ball, taking 0-42 from 10, and played an outstanding hand with the bat alongside Marsh to steer Australia to their total, deservedly hitting the winning runs to cap off an unbeaten 48 for the Victorian.

The consolation efforts: Kane Williamson top scored for the Black Caps. Not the first time, and certainly not the last, that you'll read that sentence. The classy right-hander's 60 underpinned the first half of the Kiwis' innings, after McCullum had thrashed a furious 28 from 12.  As was the case in the series opener, Mitchell Santner (45no from 39) found his groove in the pressure-packed closing stages of the innings, and matching him every step of the way was Adam Milne (36 from 27), the pair putting on 61 in 44 balls in a partnership that re-energised what had been a flagging performance from the hosts.

Watch: Black Caps' post 9-281

Matt Henry was superb with the ball, his two wickets with consecutive deliveries shifting the momentum of a match that had been fast getting away from New Zealand after the early Warner-Khawaja onslaught.

Watch: Henry's two in two

The debutant: Making his debut in place of the injured James Faulkner, Adam Zampa was introduced in the 11th over by his captain and former Sydney grade cricket team-mate Steve Smith. While the leg-spinner took some time to find his feet, he refused to be cowed, and continued to tempt the New Zealand batsmen who were eyeing the short square boundaries. His first victim was one to savour – a well-settled Williamson –  who took up Zampa's slightly flighted offering and only managed to pick out Smith at cover. An over later, it was a repeat dose; Zampa found his line, length and just the right amount of tease, and Grant Elliott found cover, this time Glenn Maxwell. All in all, Zampa's 10 overs returned 2-57 – an impressive debut for the 23-year-old, who'll be listening closely when Australia's World T20 squad is announced next week.

Watch: Zampa to the double on debut

The catch: Luke Ronchi took an excellent one to remove Steve Smith, but he was well and truly trumped by this outrageous effort from Adam Milne on the boundary. Enjoy…

Watch: Milne's moment of magic

The stat: Smith averages 25.71 in 29 ODI innings away from home, and 56.91 in Australia from the same number of trips to the crease. Given his form over the past 18 months, one senses it's only a matter of time before he rights that lopsided record.

The wash-up: It's honours even in the Chappell-Hadlee, which means we head to Hamilton on Monday for the decider in this three-match series. New Zealand hold the trophy, while Australia face the task of wrestling it back from their trans-Tasman rivals. 

Watch: Border hands Zampa ODI cap

New Zealand XI: Guptill, McCullum (c), Williamson, Nicholls, Elliott, Anderson, Ronchi, Santner, Milne, Henry, Boult.

Australia XI: Warner, Khawaja, Smith (c), Bailey, Maxwell, M Marsh, Wade (wk), Hastings, Hazlewood, Boland, Zampa.