A nail-biting finish in Auckland where New Zealand had Australia 6-67 at the 18 over mark, only to be hammered into submission by the rampaging-Marcus Stoinis who almost pulled off one of the greatest run chases single-handedly in a dominant performance for his country, falling just six runs short of victory.
The surprise package of the tournament Marcus Stoinis, a man who was benched for the Pakistan ODI series in Australia finally got his chance to show his worth, and didn’t he get his point across quite clearly? From a New Zealand perspective, Stoinis shouldn’t be known as a one-hit wonder given that he also picked up three wickets alongside that incredible innings with the bat. The fact that the Australians almost won that match is bizarre, but in a sense gives them the realistic view that anything is possible, even if their top order does collapse. Aaron Finch will captain the side once again, although his focus should be on his batting which has been deplorable in his last four innings for Australia. With the pressure well and truly on this weakened batting line-up, every single one of those top five batsman will have to contribute, otherwise it will be left to the likes of Marcus Stoinis, James Faulkner and the tail to scrap a score together yet again. Heading into the 2nd ODI in Napier, Shaun Marsh will be heavily relied upon to grind out an innings like he has done on tours in the past. Australia’s chances will also increase if their bowling attack can match the Black Caps, especially with Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc renown for their wicket-taking ability.
Yes New Zealand came away with the chocolates in the end and limped over the line just ahead of their opposition, but Kane Williamson should be absolutely fuming after they almost butchered the match with only four wickets left in the shed at 6-67. The Black Caps got over the line, but it was Australia who came all so close as they were right on the line, ironically Josh Hazlewood was just that where he was caught millimeters short so to speak. The Black Caps batting looked a lot more stable than Australia’s, to be expected on their home turf I guess but there is still room for improvement. Neil Broom finds himself in a purple patch, scoring plenty of runs in his past three ODI innings and will be looking to continue the trend in the next two games in the series. It wasn’t an overly bad bowling performance from New Zealand apart from the last 7-8 overs, quite satisfying with most of the bowling figures featuring a couple wickets to their main bowlers apart from Tim Southee who was peppered with sixes and fours in his last couple of overs. With both teams without some key players in this match, it becomes another 50/50 contest that’s anyone’s game.
Key Players | New Zealand | 2nd ODI
Kane Williamson (batsmen)
Falling short of expectation in the first game of the series, the Black Caps skipper will be a key component in this next match with their most dominant top-order batsman ruled out of the Napier ODI. This man is class, there’s no other way to describe him and he has the potential to score a hundred every time he walks to the crease.
Ross Taylor (batsmen)
His form may be a bit up and down at the moment, but you cannot ignore the fact that Napier is a venue that Ross Taylor thoroughly enjoys. In Taylor’s thirteen matches at this venue, he’s scored three centuries averaging 88.75 with the bat. Like Williamson, he possess a talent with the bat that cannot be dismissed just on recent form.
Trent Boult (bowler)
The signs looked ominous for Australia when Trent Boult had figures of 2-5 next to his name early in the innings, unfortunately he couldn’t go on and make it a big haul which would have saved Williamson a mild-panic attack in those final overs. A very hard bowler to get away early with the new ball, lock Boult in for more wickets again.
Neil Broom (batsmen)
An in-form batsman is like gold to a team, thankfully for New Zealand Neil Broom is that man. With his last three ODI scores of 109*, 97 & 73 Broom is seeing them like beach balls at the moment, it doesn’t matter who the bowler is, the 33-year-old is just dispatching them with relative ease.
Key Players | Australia | 2nd ODI
Shaun Marsh (batsmen)
Despite his early departure in Auckland, Marsh looked quite impressive early in his innings hitting three fours in his 16 runs before he let himself down with a poor shot that got him stumped. There was positive intent, mixed with uncertainty that resulted in his downfall. In saying that, Marsh is quite the stroke maker once he’s set so don’t write him off just yet.
Glenn Maxwell (all-rounder)
He’s one of the most exciting players to watch in this current day and age when he’s batting, but quite frustrating when he plays a shot like in his last outing to get himself out. His shot selection is unpredictable, plays 360 degrees which makes him a dynamic scorer on any ground. Maxy is due for a big score, it’s just a matter of when and where.
Mitchell Starc (bowler)
New Zealand were able to see off Starc in the last match without to much damage being done, although a dropped catch from Handscomb didn’t help his cause. Mitchell Starc is very-much a confidence player, so if he can knock back an early wicket he’s capable of running right through a teams top order.
Marcus Stoinis (all-rounder)
I know what you’re thinking, there’s no way he can dish up another performance like that ever again. Well, he may not clobber 146 not out again but his bowling was enough to keep New Zealand at bay. Similar to James Faulkner, Stoinis is a variation bowler which did the trick in the last game where he picked up 3-49 from his ten overs.
Team News | New Zealand
A huge blow for New Zealand for the second ODI in Napier sees Martin Guptill ruled out of the match with a hamstring injury, replaced by Dean Brownlie who has a fairly tame-record in this format. It looks likely that it will be a straight swap, meaning Brownlie will join Tom Latham at the top of the order.
New Zealand (possible) – 1. Tom Latham (wk) 2. Dean Brownlie 3. Kane Williamson (c) 4. Ross Taylor 5. Neil Broom 6. Colin Munro 7. James Neesham 8. Mitchell Santner 9. Tim Southee 10. Lockie Ferguson 11. Trent Boult.
Team News | Australia
With Matthew Wade ruled out of the second ODI in Napier, Aaron Finch will once again captain the side. It’s unlikely Australia will look to make any other changes, meaning Adam Zampa and Billy Stanlake may have to wait until the third ODI to get a look in. The batting order may also be shuffled around given it’s collapse in their last outing.
Australia (possible) – 1. Aaron Finch (c) 2. Travis Head 3. Shaun Marsh 4. Peter Handscomb (wk) 5. Glenn Maxwell 6. Sam Heazlett 7. Marcus Stoinis 8. James Faulkner 9. Pat Cummins 10. Mitchell Starc 11. Josh Hazlewood.
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Zak Varik is an Australian columnist/writer who specializes in the sports category cricket. With over four years of experience covering all sorts of cricket tournaments around the world, Zak has gained extensive knowledge in International cricket as well as domestic.
“I’ve loved watching cricket since I was about 7 years old, my childhood hero was none other than Andrew “Roy” Symonds who probably enhanced my love of the game through the years”.
Zak is now an established writer for FCN (Fantasy Cricket News) and has also previously represented other Blogs during his time as a writer.