ClinicaAussies wrest Chappell-Hadlee Trophy

Published: Thursday, December 20, 2007, 13:37 [IST]
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Skipper Ricky Ponting and his bowlers tormented New Zealand as Australia reclaimed the Chappell Hadlee Trophy one-day series at Bellerive Oval in emphatic fashion.

The juggernaut Australians clobbered the Black Caps for 282 for six off their 50 overs and then reduced them to 168 all out off just 34 overs to seal a 114-run victory and a 2-0 series victory.

Ponting's men lost the last series 3-0 in New Zealand last February, just months before they went through the World Cup unconquered in the Caribbean.

It was Australia's 17th victory in their last completed 19 one-day internationals, emphasising the gulf with the rest of the cricket world.

Ponting's unbeaten 134 off 133 balls, following his 107 off 108 balls in Australia's opening series win in Adelaide last week, justifiably made him man of the series.

It was Ponting's sixth one-day century against New Zealand and the 25th in the limited-over form of the game.

"Whenever you spend time out in the middle like that you can feel confident about yourself next time you go out to the crease," he said.

"For me now I'm not someone who needs to train a lot and hit a lot of balls. I know my own game, my own preparation pretty well now.

"Today I struggled a little bit early on, New Zealand bowled really well early on and had us under some pressure.

"It was up to me at that stage to really dig in and try to bat through the innings -- luckily I was good enough today to do that."

Once Ponting powered Australia to their 282 total, the pressure was on the Kiwis to keep in the contest after New Zealand won the toss and sent them into bat.

After speedster Brett Lee removed both openers, Brendon McCullum (6) and Jamie How (2), inside the first five overs, the Black Caps were always up against it and they slumped to 88 for seven before some late lusty hitting by Scott Styris delayed the inevitable.

Styris crashed two sixes and nine fours in his belligerent 75 off 79 balls, including three consecutive boundaries off Lee before the pace spearhead rattled his middle-stump with a yorker.

Lee claimed 3-47 off nine overs and leg-spinner Brad Hogg 3-49 from six overs.

Once again, Ponting was in imperious form, clubbing 10 boundaries and two sixes to guide the Australians to their testing total .

Kiwi skipper Daniel Vettori praised his counterpart, saying Ponting was already known as one of cricket's all-time greats.

"I don't think there's too many people in both forms of the game that can match him," Vettori said.

"Even with the stats now he's going to be remembered as one of the greats, but I think they're going to get even better and better."

Andrew Symonds smashed 52 off 63 balls with four fours and opener Matthew Hayden contributed 29 off 32 balls.

The Kiwi bowlers were hard-pressed to contain the Australian batsmen with all-rounder Jacob Oram having the best return with 2-34 off 10 overs.

The Australians lost Brad Haddin (26 off 25 balls) and James Hopes (20 from 17 balls) to run-outs.

Wicketkeeping understudy Haddin got his opportunity to play when Adam Gilchrist was rested, allowing Michael Clarke (7) to open the Australian innings with Hayden.

The second match of the series was washed out after just six overs in Sydney last last Sunday.

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