An awesome performance from New Zealand once again. Australia made 346, then New Zealand fell to 41-4, yet somehow still won.
Is Hamilton a small ground? I know that some of New Zealand's grounds feature rather tempting boundaries. The fact that there were 26 sixes rather backs this up. Our favourite Australian opening batsman with the surname Hayden and the first name Matthew, Matthew Hayden, hit ten on his own.
Credit where it's due though - even if it does wring our innards and tie them in knots to write this - Hayden's was a good innings. He hit 181 off 166 balls. No. We can't add to that. Our mind won't permit us to think anything positive about the man.
In any case, as the top-scorer for the losing side and being not out at the end, he certainly should have scored more. It was selfish batting of the highest order to not throw the bat with abandon in the search for those extra few runs that would have made the difference between victory and defeat. Matthew Hayden is solely responsible for Australia's defeat.
Hayden broke his toe too. We're sad about that. We don't want him hurt. We want him playing and failing.
New Zealand were without their two best bowlers, Shane Bond and Daniel Vettori, so they were always likely to concede a few. However, they can't have banked on losing those four early wickets.
One of the Kiwis' strengths is the depth of their batting, but also the firepower in their lower order. Craig McMillan was batting at six and he hit 117, which is fair enough. Number seven, Brendon McCullum hit 86 not out. However, we can now add the name of Mark Gillespie to the ranks of New Zealand's unexpected big-hitters. His 28 off 15 balls, batting at ten, was vital for the run-chase.
In the end, New Zealand got home with nine wickets down and three balls to spare. A blinding match.
We should really tag this update with 'Matthew Hayden
' but we don't want to sully our page of Matthew Hayden updates with any positive words - even if we do essentially retract them in the following paragraph.
Labels: Australia, New Zealand