ICC World Cup: It was one hell of a game, says NZ skipper McCullum

Mar 01, 2015, 08:05 IST | AFP

Brendon McCullum hails New Zealand's thrilling one-wicket win after Mitchell Starc’s 6-28 puts Kiwis in dire straits at 146-9

Auckland: New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum hailed the perfect finish to his side’s thrilling one-wicket World Cup win over Australia in Auckland on Saturday, saying the game had finished so early a capacity crowd would have plenty of time for a drink.

New Zealand’s Kane Williamson (left) and Trent Boult celebrate their one-wicket win over Australia at Eden Park, Auckland on Saturday.Pic/Getty Images

The Black Caps, making a mockery of pre-match predictions of a high-scoring encounter at the compact Eden Park ground, dismissed Australia for just 151, with left-arm paceman Trent Boult taking a career-best five for 27.

New Zealand were well on course for victory at 131 for four featuring a typically dashing fifty from opener McCullum, before Mitchell Starc, like Boult a left-arm seamer, sparked a dramatic collapse that reduced the home side to 146 for nine as he returned a career best 6-28.

Mitchell Starc

But Boult, in on a hat-trick, survived Starc’s final two deliveries of the 23rd over.

Then, with six needed to win, Kane Williamson (45 not out) drove the next ball, from Pat Cummins, high over the rope to set the seal on a sensational match.

Brendon McCullum en route his 24-ball 50 at Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday

“It was one hell of a game,” said McCullum after his side’s fourth win in as many Pool ‘A’ matches saw them become the first team to qualify for the quarter-finals.

Quality bowlers
“Both teams showed what quality bowlers they have. It was an amazing atmosphere and a great game to be a part of.

“It didn’t go the distance but I’m sure everyone will go home happy. It’s good to see both teams getting 300-plus but sometimes 150 games can be pretty exciting and everyone can go and have a beer now.

“Trent Boult was outstanding for us, and so was Mitchell Starc for Australia.

Trent Boult celebrates the wicket of Mitchell Marsh at Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday. Pics/Getty Images

From 80 for one, Australia lost eight wickets for 26 runs before Brad Haddin (43) and Cummins (seven not out) put on 45 for the last wicket.

Meanwhile, a relieved Boult said the elation he felt while bowling was almost trumped by the nerves he suffered while batting.

“Those two deliveries were pretty frightening at the end,” Boult admitted, before thanking his fellow bowlers for their contribution to his haul of wickets.

Turning point
Trent Boult returning for his second spell in the 18th over bowled Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Marsh, leaving Australia at 97-6. After Michael Clarke’s dismissal, the Aussies were brought down to 104 for 7. Boult then again ran through his left arm counterparts Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Starc, reducing Australia to 106-9.

Figure trigger

Number of wickets Australia lost in a span of 26 runs (80-1 to 106-9)

The number of five-wicket hauls claimed by Trent Boult

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Matt Prior@MattPrior13:
Watching #NZvAus highlights & at the risk of jumping on the bandwagon I have to say Brendan McCullum’s captaincy is brilliant #brave

David Lloyd@BumbleCricket:
NZ v Oz ...Raw ...best game I’ve seen for ages ...genuine threat from the bowlers .Great pitch ... Please , no more flat , lifeless pitches

Brett Lee@BrettLee_58:
What a game of cricket Congrats New Zealand I’ve lost my voice !!!

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