ICC Champions Trophy - Kiwis chase a stiff target as Aussies pile up 296/7

Published: Sunday, September 15, 2002, 16:49 [IST]
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Colombo: Damien Martyn hit a strokeful 73 to help Australia post a challenging 296-7 against New Zealand in the Champions Trophy One-day tournament on Sunday.Martyn struck eight fours in his 11th half-century as Australia batted steadily throughout its innings after electing to bat on a slow pitch at the Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) ground.Australia, which failed to win a match in the previous two editions of this tournament, began and finished strongly to set a stiff target for New Zealand as they plundered 72 in the opening 10 overs and 83 in the last 10.Australia paced its innings intelligently to spoil the New Zealand bowlers' rhythm as Matthew Hayden (43) initially played an anchor role, while Adam Gilchrist (44) and skipper Ricky Ponting (37) played shots with freedom from the other end.Gilchrist set the pace with a 30-ball blitz, batting as if the New Zealand pace attack deserved no respect. Boundaries came thick and fast as the Australian vice captain swung Daryl Tuffey over square-leg for the first six and then went on to smash seven fours in his entertaining knock.Gilchrist fell playing shots, mistiming a lofted drive off Tuffey to be caught by Matthew Sinclair at mid-off after sharing a 68-run stand for the opening wicket with Hayden.But there was no respite for New Zealand as Ponting exploded with a flurry of drives in the arc of mid-off and mid-on to crack eight fours in his 31-ball innings.The Australian skipper eventually fell driving, caught by his counterpart Stephen Fleming at short cover off paceman Shane Bond. New Zealand managed to contain the runs for a brief period after the dismissals of the hard-hitting batsmen as Australia slipped from 129-1 to 143-3 in the space of four overs.Left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori kept the batsmen silent during his tidy 10 over spell, conceding just 25 and dismissing Hayden in the process. Hayden was surprised by a sharp turning delivery to be bowled. He hit one straight six off Jacob Oram and four boundaries in his 67-ball innings.Martyn was let off on two when he erred in driving Bond, but Fleming reacted a bit late at first slip only to see the ball race to the boundary. He made the most of the chance and continued to play shots before reaching his half-century with a firmly driven boundary through the covers off Tuffey.

Copyright AFP 2001

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