Australia stride home to retain Champions Trophy

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The Independent Online

Defending champions Australia today beat New Zealand by six wickets to retain the Champions Trophy in the final at Centurion.

Victory was assured by all-rounder Shane Watson, who survived an early onslaught by the Black Caps' bowlers before finishing with 105 from 129 balls as the defending champions cruised past the 201 target with 28 balls to spare.

The Black Caps, who were dealt a huge blow before the match after captain Daniel Vettori was ruled out with a hamstring strain, struggled from the outset with Martin Guptill (40), Neil Broom (37) and James Franklin (33) all getting starts.

But their failure to kick on proved costly as Hauritz grabbed three wickets and Brett Lee two to help keep their trans-Tasman rivals down to 200 for nine.

The loss of Vettori, though, was a massive blow for his side as it meant they were taking on their opponents without four of their first-choice XI - Jacob Oram, Jesse Ryder and Daryl Tuffey having already succumbed to injury earlier in the tournament.

After winning the toss and electing to bat, stand-in captain Brendon McCullum and his opening partner Aaron Redmond found the going tough early on against Lee and Peter Siddle in particular.

To make matters worse, they lost their hard-hitting wicketkeeper for a duck in the fourth over - Siddle drawing an edge behind to Tim Paine - as the New Zealanders were restricted to just 22 runs from the mandatory first powerplay.

It was the lowest total by any team during that period in the two-week event, with their first boundary only coming from the final ball of the seventh over.

But Guptill and Redmond showed some grit by raising the 50 in the 15th over, followed by their half-century stand from 82 deliveries, a rare positive moment for the men in black.

Things went pear-shaped thereafter as the Black Caps slumped from 66 for one to 94 for five.

The wicket of Redmond, which ended a 61-run partnership, started the slide after the opener, playing in only his second one-day international, gave Hauritz the charge and was stumped by Paine for 28.

Having fought his way to 40, Guptill then offered the Australian off-spinner a simple return catch, while Ross Taylor (six) was brilliantly held at point by Michael Hussey off Mitchell Johnson and Grant Elliott (nine) was trapped plumb leg before wicket by Lee.

Broom drove Siddle away through extra cover to help his side past 100 in the 28th over as he and Franklin brought in some stability.

They took New Zealand to 125 after 35 overs, before raising the second 50 stand of the innings from 78 deliveries.

The batting power-play was taken with 11 overs remaining, and after putting the first 2.4 overs to good use - they took 26 runs during this period - another flurry of wickets ensued.

First, hesitant running between the wickets led to the departure of Broom, who was run out at the non-strikers end by Hussey, and then the other set batsman, Franklin, was then bowled by Lee.

Ian Butler (six) handed Hauritz his third wicket when he was trapped lbw, before something finally went wrong for Australia when Callum Ferguson had to be assisted off the field after he seemed to have jammed his knee in the ground while fielding at mid-off.

But his countrymen continued without him running out Kyle Mills (12), but Jeetan Patel (12 not out), in for Vettori, and Shane Bond (three not out) prevented their side from being bowled out.

Australia v New Zealand

Centurion: Australia beat New Zealand by 6 wkts

New Zealand Innings

B B McCullum c Paine b Siddle 0

A J Redmond st Paine b Hauritz 26

M J Guptill c & b Hauritz 40

L R P Taylor c Hussey b Johnson 6

G D Elliott lbw b Lee 9

N T Broom run out 37

J E C Franklin b Lee 33

K D Mills run out 12

I G Butler lbw b Hauritz 6

J S Patel not out 16

S E Bond not out 3

Extras b1 lb2 w9 pens 0 12

Total 9 wkts Innings Complete (50 overs) 200

Fall: 1-5 2-66 3-77 4-81 5-94 6-159 7-166 8-174 9-187

Bowling: Lee 10 1 45 2

Siddle 10 1 30 1

Johnson 10 1 35 1

Watson 10 0 50 0

Hauritz 10 0 37 3

Australia Innings

S R Watson not out 105

T D Paine c Taylor b Bond 1

R T Ponting lbw b Mills 1

C L White b Mills 62

M E K Hussey c Patel b Mills 11

J R Hopes not out 22

Extras lb3 w1 pens 0 4

Total 4 wkts (45.2 overs) 206

Fall: 1-2 2-6 3-134 4-156

Did Not Bat: C J Ferguson, M G Johnson, N M Hauritz, P M Siddle.

Bowling: Mills 10 2 27 3

Bond 10 2 34 1

Butler 9 0 50 0

Franklin 9 0 42 0

Patel 6.2 0 44 0

Elliott 1 0 6 0