Blackcaps Thrash Australia in First ODI

In what can only be described as the biggest home fixture for the Blackcaps this summer, the Australian tour of New Zealand got off to a rough start for the visitors after they fell to a harrowing 159-run defeat in the first of three ODI matches that make up the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy Series.

It has been just under a year since these two powerhouses last met at Eden Park in their low-scoring group match in the 2015 Cricket World Cup, but the ground remains a jinx for the Australian batsmen as they crumbled to just 148 all out in 24.2 overs.

Blackcaps Thrash Australia in First ODI

Despite losing the toss and being sent into bat, New Zealand took to the Aussie bowlers, managing to amass a total of 307/8 in their allotted 50 overs with Martin Guptill (90) and Henry Nicholls (61) firmly leading the charge. Returning Captain Brendon McCullum put on a final show for the 25,882 strong crowd, smashing a blistering 44 off just 29 balls at the top of the innings.

It was a tough ask from the start for Australia and the pressure was evident from ball one with Shaun Marsh (5) falling in just the second over to Matt Henry, a performance that has done little to silence the critics surrounding the omission of Usman Khawaja from the squad for Marsh.

The wickets that followed fell fast and furiously and within a blink of an eye, Australia had lost five wickets in just 23 balls, struggling to make a match of it at 41-6 and the nightmare of Eden Park seemed all too familiar for the men in gold who were firmly staring defeat in the face.

New Zealand succeeded in putting on a balanced and effective batting display with every batsman, excluding the usual go-to player of Kane Williamson, contributing to the massive total. Williamson did, however, more than make up for misfiring during his innings with a cracking one-handed, leaping catch to dismiss Glenn Maxwell for a duck.

The performance in the field combined with effect and accurate bowling, along with killer pace from fast bowler Adam Milne who managed to clock +150 km/h on more than one occasion, took the game away from the Aussies before they really had a chance to react.

Trent Boult and Matt Henry were the standout bowlers for New Zealand, picking up three wickets apiece, tearing through the top order of their Tasman rivals, leaving the lower order to pick up the pieces and attempt to salvage a win as their innings continued to crumble around them.

Adding to the woes of Australian Cricket, all-rounder James Faulkner will miss the rest of the tour after picking up a hamstring strain, putting his name on an ever-growing injury list that is threatening to end the Aussies’ World T20 campaign next month before it even begins.

At the other end of the spectrum, the Blackcaps will look to build on their success and hone their limited overs skills in the remaining ODI matches before beginning their World T20 campaign