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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

New Zealand humbled in one-sided Champions Trophy final

AUSTRALIA claimed their second successive Champions Trophy title, beating New Zealand by six wickets in the final at SuperSport Park in Centurion.

Australia had a huge fight on their hands at 2-6 against some inspired Kiwi bowling, but Shane Watson again kept a cool head with his second successive unbeaten century to steer Australia (4-206) side past New Zealand's 9-200.

Watson (105 not out) hit successive sixes off spinner Jeetan Patel to score the winning runs - with 28 balls remaining - and reach three figures in style.

After Australia's early wickets, Watson and Cameron White (62) restored order with a partnership of 128, and despite wickets to Kyle Mills (3-27), the world champions were never in trouble.

Australia's victory created history, as they are now the only nation to have won this event twice, following their triumph in India three years ago.

Their win also earned a major windfall, as the team pocketed $US2 million ($A2.31 million). As runner-up, New Zealand earned $US1 million ($A1.15 million).

New Zealand entered the match rank outsiders, with a view that everything needed to go right for them to topple their trans-Tasman rival.

Instead, they lost skipper Daniel Vettori to a hamstring injury an hour before the game began, and then acting skipper Brendon McCullum - the side's most destructive batsman - fell for a duck in the fourth over, to Peter Siddle.

The Black Caps' innings never really took off, as they regularly lost wickets.

Siddle bowled superbly and had figures of 1-18 from nine overs while battling illness towards the end of his last spell, until his last over cost 12 runs.

Offspinner Nathan Hauritz also had a great game with the ball, as his 10 overs yielded good control and 3-37.

But Australia also experienced an injury setback, as young batsman Callum Ferguson wrenched his right knee in the field and was assisted from the field.

Ferguson was not needed to bat, as allrounder James Hopes went in ahead of him at No.6 and finished on 22 not out.

New Zealand started brilliantly with the ball, as Shane Bond removed Tim Paine (one) in the second over and Mills had Ricky Ponting (one) plumb in the next.

But Watson and White weathered the storm patiently - Australia were 2-19 after 11 overs - and had wrestled back control when Watson hit sixes in successive overs just after their partnership passed 50.

Watson played a mature hand when White departed with 67 runs still needed, and his fourth career ton followed his unbeaten 136 in the semi-final against England last Friday.

Watson ended the tournament the competition's second-highest run scorer (265), behind only Ponting's 288, which was a remarkable achievement given he began the series with successive ducks.

Australia's players will now head home for a short break before they depart for India, where they will play seven one-dayers against Mahendra Singh Dhoni's side.

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At September 17, 2011 at 5:38 AM , Blogger Sports Traveler said...

It would be great to have Cricket Supporters Tours for this year and witness an awesome match.


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