Cameron Green had to overcome serious cramp in the latter stages of the contest, but his valiant 89 not out has lifted Australia to victory by two wickets in the first ODI against New Zealand.
Green came to the crease when the Aussies were sitting precariously at 5-44 after a disastrous collapse to open the innings, but the youngster and Alex Carey put together an outstanding partnership that steadied the ship.
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The hosts had a late wobble when Carey, Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Starc all departed in the space of two overs to leave Australia on 8/207, but Adam Zampa kept a cool head along with Green as Australia reached the set target of 233.
Skipper Aaron Finch was the first to go as he was caught LBW by Trent Boult and departed for just five runs.
Finch immediately reviewed the decision, but it was to no avail as the third umpire consigned the Aussie skipper to his fate.
But further replays showed Finch could have saved the review, as fellow opener David Warner was pictured gesturing to the skipper that Boult’s delivery was going down leg side.
Commentator Ian Smith described Finch’s early exit as “same old, same old”.
Steve Smith (1) wasn’t far behind Finch as the star chopped on to the stumps and handed Boult his second wicket of the evening.
Boult’s onslaught continued as he snared Marnus Labuschagne for a duck to stun the crowd at Cairns.
It was then David Warner’s turn to lose his wicket cheaply for 20 when he smacked a Matt Henry delivery to Michael Bracewell who was lurking near the boundary.
Marcus Stoinis was then clean bowled by Henry for five runs.
Boult was the pick of the Kiwi bowlers, as he finished with figures of 4/40.
MAXWELL THE STAR AS ‘BIG SHOW’ TEARS THROUGH KIWI’S MIDDLE ORDER
The Kiwis were bumbling along comfortably and at one stage were sitting at 3-179, but ended their innings at 9-232 as Maxwell and Josh Hazlewood exposed the middle order.
Guptill became the first departure of the day when he flicked a Mitchell Starc delivery off of his pads but found the outstretched left hand of Maxwell who made no mistakes as he was sent packing for 6 from 19 runs and left the Kiwis at 1-10.
The Aussie thought he had secured an early wicket when he sent down a delivery that appeared to catch the outside edge of Guptill’s bat and made a notable sound, as the umpire raised his finger.
However, Guptill immediately decided to review the decision and it was a wise call to do so.
The DRS showed the ball missed the Kiwi’s outside edge and the noise came from his bat nicking the inside of his pad, as Guptill lived to see another over.
The Aussies thought they had another wicket in the eighth over when a Josh Hazlewood ball supposedly nicked the glove of Devon Conway to loud appeals from the hosts, but Paul Reiffel did not give it out.
New Zealand wasted a review of their own with Conway (46) contesting his lbw to Adam Zampa in the 23rd over.
The ball was found to be hitting middle stump half way up and Nathan Lyon declared: “It doesn’t get any more out than that.”
Williamson was the next to depart for 45 as the skipper smacked a looping Glenn Maxwell delivery high into the air and into the grateful hands of David Warner.
Mitchell was out when he smashed a Maxwell delivery to Steve Smith and Maxwell got his second of the over when Latham tried to turn the ball around the corner but found the hands of Adam Zampa instead.
Bracewell began strongly but lasted just eight balls as he hit the ball straight to Smith to give Maxwell his fourth wicket of the day.
Neesham was next to go when he helped a Josh Hazlewood ball to Alex Carey, before Hazlewood snared Henry and Santner not long after as the Aussie seamer ended the game with 3/31.