Highlights Australia Vs New Zealand Champions Trophy 2017 : Australia is one of the favorites to win the champions trophy 2017 owing to their stellar pace trio of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazelwood and Pat Cummins and the litany of strong hitters, struggled against their trans-Pacific rivals New Zealand in their opening encounter of the Champions Trophy 2017 at Edgbaston here today, escaping only on account of the English summer rains that disrupted play repeatedly before the match had to be suspended. Each team goes home with a point apiece, and Australia will be especially thankful as they looked almost vulnerable, losing three wickets in the span of nine overs chasing a revised total of 235 in 33. Given the short length of this tournament where each team play only three matches in the league round robin stage, no team can afford a slow start and it would have been catastrophic for Australia save the weather lords.
Put into bat first, New Zealand openers did especially well against the Australian pace trio, as Guptill and Ronchi got off to a thunderous start, racing to 40 off the first five overs before Ronchi fell to Hazlewood. The Australian bowlers continued to offer loose deliveries to the Kiwis, and it showed as the Black Caps raced to 200 inside of 30 overs, looking set to post a target in excess of 300 runs. Kane Williamson was the man of the day, eventually racing to a well deserved hundred off 97 balls before falling off an unfortunate run out.
After the game’s first rain delay the New Zealand innings was restricted to 46 overs, it was going to take something special to stop the Kiwis piling on a mammoth total, enter Hazlewood. Along with his new ball partner Starc, Hazlewood turned his day around with a fantastic spell of death bowling which restricted New Zealand to 291 all out despite Williamson’s brillant century. The target was set for 235 after more rain hit Edgbaston, off 33 overs.
With the momentum well in Australia’s favor after the late innings heroics by Hazlewood, it seemed that the Australian batsmen would come out with all guns blazing. Instead, in the nine overs that were bowled before the weather eventually forced the officials to abandon the match, New Zealand sent the Australian top-order packing and exposed their middle order.
Aaron Finch looked rusty as he struggled to make contact between the bat and the ball, and the pressure of a steep chase built up on the flamboyant Warner, forcing reckless aggression. He fell to a mistimed shot off Boult, and soon Finch was to follow. Skipper Smith tried to steady the chase, but Moises Henriques was dismissed by a clean caught and bowled off Milne. Australia were struggling at 58 for 3 off 9.0 overs when the match was cancelled.
Skipper Smith will know that they got off an almost certain defeat here today, and will look to improve things when they meet Bangladesh in their next. On the other hand, the Black Caps will be disappointed to miss out on full points despite a stellar performance, but will be confident heading into their next game.