Australia retain the trophy after rain interruption
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter

Scorecard:Australia v New Zealand
Player:BJ Haddin, CJ Ferguson, MJ Guptill, BJ Diamanti
Event:New Zealand in Australia 2008/09

DateLine: 13th February 2009


Just when the contest was interestingly poised rain came down again and played the spoilsport on a contest that was becoming more and more intriguing as overs passed by. Just when the contest entered the decisive phase with New Zealand moving ahead of the run-rate heavy rain once again lashed the Gabba stadium to cruelly end the contest and hand the trophy over to Australia. That there was any play at all was almost a miracle after heavy showers on Thursday night and most of the day on Friday.


The opener Brad Haddin led from the top and Callum Ferguson breezed to a late half-century as Australia reached 4 for 168 in their bid to win the Chappell-Hadlee Series at the Gabba. James Hopes was promoted to open with Michael Clarke missing due to a back problem, but he walked off after skying Mills to mid-off in the third over. It was Mills again when he forced a fine outside edge from Ricky Ponting (2) and Australia were wobbling at 2 for 20. O'Brien bowled a slashing David Hussey for 6 to inflict further damage in his first over, but Australia recovered through a 40-run stand between the dominant Haddin and Michael Hussey. Just as they were starting to look reasonably comfortable Hussey (9) pulled Vettori's first delivery to Diamanti at deep midwicket, reducing the hosts to 4 for 70.


Haddin was in some blistering form as he collared the Kiwi bowling attacked to all parts of the ground and towards the end of the innings he began to improvise brilliantly that the bowlers had no answer. His half-century came from 43 balls and he finished in a flurry, hitting Tim Southee into the second tier of the Northern Stand and launching Iain O'Brien into the Southern. Ferguson joined in as the pair blasted 98 in 10.5 overs. He arrived and scored 55 in 35 deliveries to inflate Australia's total, which included 30 in the two-over batting Powerplay.


As a result of delay the target was cut down to 156 runs off 20 overs. New Zealand started their innings on the wrong foot as they lost Brendon McCullum in the first over of their innings with just two runs on the board. Martin Guptill and Peter Fulton did not allow that to disrupt their concentration as they added a quick fire 38 runs in 19 with Fulton taking up the responsibility of keeping the scoreboard moving. The assault was so complete that 15 runs came in the second over, Bracken's first and 21 runs came in Hilfenhaus's over. But Bracken had his revenge when he had Fulton caught at covers of a mistimed lofted shot. Taylor did not last long as he literally gifted his wicket away to a loose shot and then a mini collapse set in. Elliot and Broom were dismissed with for ducks respectively and Mills was gone when Hussy at mid-of plucked a blinder.


Guptill was fast running out of partners when he was joined at the crease by Brendon Diamanti and New Zealand needed 84 from 12 overs. Diamanti at the start of his innings looked lost and kept fishing at the balls pitched outside the off stump and infact got a streaky boundary to third man over slips. But afterwards he began to settle down and lend valuable support to Guptill who was in cruise mode. As the innings progressed Diamanti began to unfurl his shots and collected some valuable boundaries on both sides of the wicket. The seventh pair added 50 runs in 6 overs and looked like taking the team to victory when rain came down and cruelly ended their enterprise.