Saturday, June 3, 2017

ICC Champions Trophy 2017 : Australia vs New Zealand

The second match of this tournament at Birmingham, was expected to be a humdinger - always a cheeky contest between the two neighbours Down Under. But rain played spoilsport, just as the game was entering an interesting phase.

The Kiwis won the toss & chose to bat as clouds kept their gloomy presence. The openers Guptill & Ronchi started blasting boundaries, as runs came a scorching pace. Guptill left after a bright start & Capt Williamson came n to steady the ship. Ronchi delighted with some blistering hits all around as Williamson settled for a long haul. Ronchi departed for 65 & then Taylor compiled a well made 46, but it was the Captain who outshone everyone for a brilliant 100, before running himself out needlessly. Others could not capitalise on such a beautiful foundation & the innings lost momentum to finally fold at 291 in 45 overs. The Aussie bowlers found their rhythm a tad late but wrapped up the Kiwis eventually. Hazelwood was the star amongst them claiming 6 for 52 in 9 overs.
With rain playing the spoilsport, the target kept getting revised under D/L as the Aussies started the chase. Warner looked in hurry & got out caught behind & Finch and Henriques too got out trying to force the pace. Aussies were looking tattered at 53 for 3 in 9 overs, when the sky opened again & eventually play was called off. They would consider lucky to come out of a hole today with a draw.
Both the teams take one point each & the Kiwis would feel cheated of a win, as the Aussies looked uncomfortable.
It was a repeat of 2013, when both the teams had to content with a draw due to rains - same venue & same tournament !!! - strange are the stories of cricket.

Hope rain stays away as the tournament progresses.