Port Elizabeth: Brett Lee triumphed in his personal duel with Kiwi pace bowling rival Shane Bond on Tuesday and then said Australia's never-say-die team spirit could take it all the way to another world title.[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Lee put in a hostile second spell of five for three from just 15 balls as the defending champion shot out New Zealand for 112 to win its Super Six clash by 96 runs and register its 14th successive One-day win.Earlier, Bond took six for 23 as Australia made 208 for nine at St George's Park to briefly give his side hope that they could win and clinch a semi-final place."It was a great team effort," said Lee.
"We hung in there and Michael Bevan and Andy Bichel got invaluable runs." Bichel, batting at number nine, made 64 while Bevan hit 56 to rescue their side from 84 for seven to 181 for eight."I would like to think that we are unbeatable. We just have to keep playing well and the boys at the lower order did well," said Lee. "It shows that even when we are struggling, the effort is always there."It was a flat wicket but the rewards were there if you bowled up to the mark.
I got my eye in during the second spell and the ball started to swing so it was my day in the end."The 27-year-old Bond, whose figures were the best ever against Australia, must now put in a repeat performance against India at Centurion on Friday if New Zealand are to reach the last four.However, should Kenya beat Zimbabwe in Bloemfontein on Wednesday, the battle for the final last four place will be between the Kiwis and Sri Lanka.
"We have done well against India at home but they have some very good batsmen so it will be a great contest," said Bond recalling the Black Caps 5-2 One-day win over Saurav Ganguly's men in January."I hadn't been bowling that well but I knew that soon it would be my day. I seem to do alright against the Australians so it was good to do well again," said Bond."There was a bit in the pitch for me. I just mixed up my pace, put the ball in the standard area and threw in the odd yorker. It surprised a few of us when Stephen put them into bat. To restrict the Aussies to 208 was a good effort."Copyright AFP 2001