ICC Champions Trophy, Match 2: Australia vs New Zealand

  • ICC Champions Trophy, Match 2: Australia vs New Zealand

ICC Champions Trophy, Match 2: Australia vs New Zealand

Steve Smith admits Australia dodged a bullet after rain washed out their Champions Trophy opener against New Zealand at Edgbaston in Birmingham, England.

In a match initially reduced to 46 overs per side, New Zealand made 291 all out before Australia's target was adjusted to 235 off 33 following a second heavy downpour.

But his run out sparked a collapse that saw New Zealand lose their last seven wickets for 37 runs in 35 balls.

Fast bowler Josh Hazlewood produced an excellent display of pace bowling to return figures of 6/52 - three of those wickets coming off four deliveries in the penultimate over of the innings.

If Australia win that game on Monday, New Zealand have to beat England, the home team and favourites, the following day or they'll be relying on net run-rate from their final match against Bangladesh.

After a blitzkrieg from opener Luke Ronchi, who took Pat Cummins apart in scoring 65 off 43 balls, it was the Williamson show as he manipulated the middle-overs like fake news does the gullible.

In the 2017 edition, New Zealand opted to bat and stamped their campaign with instant aggression.

Busy and always energetic on the field, Australia's Smith is a far cry from the usually calm and calculated New Zealander. Earlier in their innings, Australia's only decent bowling came from the combined fifth bowler of Head and Henriques, who conceded 47 in their 10, their most frugal in the game.

A rain delay of nearly two hours reduced the match to 46 overs per side but Ronchi looked as though he had never left the middle as he continued to fire once played resumed.

The wicketkeeper, selected ahead of Tom Latham, struck 24 before showers arrived at the central England venue with New Zealand 67-1, then returned with more lusty blows amid the best atmosphere of the innings.

Hazlewood clinched the wickets of Adam Milne, Mitchell Santner and Trent Boult in the 45th over to bring the curtains down on the New Zealand innings.

"The loss to India was a timely reminder from a batting point of view that we need to do the hard work first before we perhaps go a little bit harder and that's something you can fall into when there's talk about scores of 330-35 being par so that was a good learning for us". With the ball there, they came and bowled aggressively.

With opening batsman David Warner in the one-day form of his life, Smith is confident that his players' contracts dispute with Cricket Australia would not prove a distraction over the next couple of weeks.

"If it is good batting and the sun is out hopefully we can put a bit of pressure on those guys and try and play the way we did in Australia", Smith said.

"Players move on, they retire, and your team takes a slightly different shape".

"I don´t think we´ll end up going with the four big quicks", Australia captain Smith had told reporters at Edgbaston on Thursday. FOUR! Taylor flicks one through mid-wicket and Hazlewood, the fielder at that position, runs after it.