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Kiwis take another tumble against Aussies

Australia put up another show of their cricketing might as Michael Bevan and Nathan Bracken set up a 44-run win against New Zealand.

india Updated: Nov 10, 2003 03:06 IST

The Indians should thank Australia for their habit of winning all, with or without big names.

The Aussies already in the TVS tri-series final, decided to rest Adam Gilchrist, Mathew Hayden and Brad Williams. Then, they lost the toss, which was supposed to play such a vital role due to early morning start. But they still recovered to record a comfortable 44-run victory over New Zealand at the Nehru Stadium here on Sunday.

The result virtually ensured that the Hyderabad day and night tie between the Men in Blue and the Black Caps will be a semi-final tussle.

After five matches, Australia, who have won four games and lost one, raced ahead of the other two sides with 23 points while the Kiwis are at 10 points from five outings.

They collected one point from Sunday's match by not allowing Australia to achieve a bonus point, which in turn put them a point ahead of the hosts, who have played four matches so far.

Sent in by Stephen Fleming to get the first taste of the pitch under overcast conditions, the Australians were at one stage struggling at 61 for four.

But it was the dashing Michael Bevan who steered the side to 225 for seven in the end with a typically well-planed unbeaten 84 from 97 balls.

The kangaroos kept up the pressure in the field right from the word go, as New Zealand folded up for 181 in 45.3 overs.

Chris Nevin edged left-arm pacer Nathan Bracken to skipper Ricky Ponting at third slip in the second over and Bracken struck again picking up Lou Vincent in the ninth over of the Kiwi innings.

Kiwi skipper Stephen Fleming showed glimpses of his class, playing some elegant shots down the ground and through the off side.

And just as his partnership with in-form Scott Styris was looking dangerous, Ian Harvey struck. Harvey bowled a slower one which Fleming read late and the Kiwi skipper, trying to check his drive, merely managed to give the bowler a simple return catch.

Craig McMillan -- New Zealand's hero in their previous win over India -- was somewhat unlucky to be given out caught behind for no score, when the ball did not seem to touch his gloves or the bat. New Zealand had been reduced to 68 for four.

Ponting rotated his bowlers, not allowing any Kiwi batsman to settle down and build up a partnership. Styris and Chris Harris did manage to raise a partnership of 55, but it ended with Brad Hogg dismissing Styris. The Kiwi played a bit early, chipping a catch to Ponting at mid-wicket.

Brendon McCullum went for a wild swing and top-edged it for wicket-keeper Jimmy Maher to complete the formalities. He made only seven.

With little more to expect, a New Zealand journalist was seen tuning the TV set in the press box to watch the World Cup rugby match between England and Wales.

"We are playing them (Australia) in the semis and hope to do better there," he said.

Earlier, in spite of losing regular wickets, Australia maintained a good run rate.

And despite Daniel Vettori's wonderful spell (10-0-20-2) in the middle overs, they managed to go over 200.

Ian Harvey began with a flourish scoring a quickfire 25 with the help of four fours.

Skipper Ponting found his touch scoring 54 before becoming Vettori's 100th One-day victim, as McMillan made a difficult catch look easy. The same combination got rid of Clarke too but the catch was easy this time..

Styris perhaps took the catch of the match off Harris, running backwards from extra-cover to dismiss Hogg.

Scorecard

First Published: Nov 09, 2003 09:12 IST