Australia tear through NZ to seal ODI series
Top-ranked New Zealand collapsed to 82 all out in the face of scintillating bowling Thursday as Australia won the second one-day international by 113 runs to seal the Chappell-Hadlee series in Cairns.
Australia clinched a thrilling opening match on Tuesday by two wickets with the three-match showdown now destined for a dead rubber on Sunday.
Spinner Adam Zampa weaved his magic for 5-35 while paceman Sean Abbott, in the side for the injured Cameron Green, bowled an amazing 28 consecutive dot balls, conceding just one run from five overs with two wickets.
Mitchell Starc chipped in with 2-12 in a comprehensive thrashing with 17 overs to spare.
"We knew we had got to a total we could defend, we just needed to be ultra-disciplined with the ball, and we did that from ball one," said Australia captain Aaron Finch.
"Once we started to build some pressure, we felt it would be harder to score as the game went on."
Trent Boult had snared four wickets and Matt Henry three as New Zealand restricted Australia to 195-9 after winning the toss and putting them into bat.
The under-pressure Finch failed again, out for a duck, but Steve Smith hit 61 and Starc (38 not out) and Josh Hazlewood (23 not out) added vital late runs.
It nevertheless appeared to be a catchable target, but the chase began disastrously for the visitors when Martin Guptill (two) got a thick edge to Starc in the opening over and Finch took the catch.
Things got worse when Abbott removed Devon Conway (five) and Tom Latham (0) in the space of four balls.
New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson fell lbw to Zampa, completely missing a full toss, with his dismissal leaving them in deep trouble on 33-4 in the 19th over.
The counterpunch didn't come with Zampa trapping Daryl Mitchell lbw for 10 before Jimmy Neesham, Michael Bracewell, Tim Southee, Henry and Boult all fell cheaply.
"Obviously not out best effort with the bat, a number of soft dismissals," said Williamson.
"Having said that Australia were outstanding with the ball and gave us nothing."
- Steady the ship -
After scoring 5, 5, 1, 15, 0 and 0 in his last six ODIs, Finch flopped again, sending a tame lofted drive into the safe hands of Williamson off Henry's bowling on only his second ball.
The same duo teamed up again to remove David Warner (five) in an almost mirror dismissal two overs later.
A counter-attacking Smith smacked two boundaries before new partner Marnus Labuschagne was trapped lbw by Boult, who then removed Marcus Stoinis the same way.
The Australian top order similarly crumbled in the first match, when Alex Carey and Green came to the rescue.
With Green missing, Carey teamed with Smith to steady the ship in a 28-run stand before he was stumped on 12.
Australian dangerman Glenn Maxwell hit the first six of the game in the 28th over, but he misjudged a Boult delivery soon after, holing out to Guptill in the deep on 25.
Smith brought up his 27th one-day half-century, but after a hitting a big six as he tried to get the scoreboard moving, skyed a Southee ball to Boult before Starc and Hazlewood starred with a late flurry.