Guwahati:Australia gave another demonstration of their cricketing might as the world champions relied on some disciplined bowling to fashion a 44-run victory against New Zealand in the TVS Cup triangular series match on Sunday. Chasing a modest target of 226 for victory, New Zealand could never really find their bearings after a top-order collapse to fold up for 181 in 45.3 overs and give the Aussies their fourth consecutive victory in the series.
The Black Caps, who desperately needed a win to bolster their chances of making it to the final, enjoyed an upper hand in the early stages of the contest by reducing the Aussies to 61 for four but the world champions fought their way out with characteristic grit to maintain their supremacy over their trans-Tasman rivals.
The Aussies, who have already assured themselves of a berth for the November 18 final in Kolkata, widened the lead atop the points table with 23 points from five outings. New Zealand, who managed to gain a bonus point on Sunday climbed to the second position on the table with ten points from five matches.
The Kiwis will now have to battle it out for the other finalist's spot with India who have nine points from four outings. Put in to bat, Australia weathered an early storm to post a modest 225 for seven, mainly built around a resolute unbeaten 84 by Michael Bevan. Skipper Ricky Ponting was the other notable contributor with an 84-ball 52.