Champions Trophy: George Bailey needs quick change of fortune as problems mount

Australia 243-8 New Zealand 51-2: Bad weather leaves Australia relying on others if they are to advance to semi-finals

Edgbaston

There was only one topic of discussion after the wash-out between Australia and New Zealand, and it did not concern net run rates in getting out of this particular group of death.

Try as both captains did to concentrate on the playing matters in hand and to come and what their chances are of qualifying for the semi-finals, the subject kept returning to a man who was not playing. David Warner, Australia's opening batsman who is badly out of form, was left out of the side after being involved in an altercation with Joe Root of England in a Birmingham bar last Sunday morning.

George Bailey, Australia's captain while Michael Clarke remains injured, declined to talk about it because a hearing is pending. Brendon McCullum preferred not to but knew what was coming.

"We've had some issues in the past," said McCullum of previous Kiwi woes. "It's never great but it depends on how good your team spirit is and how good your structure is around the team, to be able to get your team through it."

The heavy rain which terminally interrupted the game means it is as yet impossible to be sure how Australia's structure is standing up to the woes being inflicted on it with uncommon regularity. The signs, however, were remarkably heartening.

They made 243 for 8 on a pitch that was taking turn and was never easy for batting. Flair in stroke-making was definitely discouraged.

But they did better than they looked like doing at many stages of their innings, which is not indicative of a side which is yet ready to roll over and have their tummy tickled. The loss of two early wickets seemed to portend disarray but Bailey, a genial soul who conceals a steel inner core, helped to rebuild the innings.

He was out badly, bowled round his legs, but Adam Voges assembled a sturdy 71 until he sliced a full toss to cover. It is mean to keep bringing up the past but it is difficult to imagine an Australian batsman in the days of yore making quite such an elementary error. Voges did well. So, too, at the end did Glenn Maxwell, whose all or nothing bludgeoning against slow bowling brought Australia 33 runs in the last three overs, a weighty exchange rate in the currency they had been dealing.

Mitchell McClenaghan was the Kiwis' star turn. He took four wickets and now has 26 in limited-overs matches, more than anybody before in his first nine games.

Before the predicted rain fell, Martin Guptill, who terrorised England a fortnight ago, drove in the air to point. He might just have exchanged one of his two centuries against England for a score in this competition.

Luke Ronchi, the former Australia international, again discovered that playing for the country where he was born will not be a breeze. He appeared to have done the hard part when prodded to point. The points division, one each, works in New Zealand's favour. They already have one win and would have to be drubbed in unlikely fashion by England not to qualify. Australia must not only beat Sri Lanka to progress but probably also depend on Sri Lanka defeating England.

Bailey seemed unperturbed by the prospect. "I said at the start of the tournament that our biggest challenge was closing the gap between our best and our worst games. I don't think it depended on us improving our best."

They have one game left to demonstrate the point. It seems that Clarke might return by next Monday when it is played. His injury made a sudden leap in improvement. Australia need good things to happen quickly.

Edgbaston scoreboard

No result. Australia (1pt) New Zealand (1pt); Australia won toss

Australia

Runs/6s/4s/Bls/Min

S R Watson c Ronchi b McClenaghan 5/0/1/7/4

†M S Wade lbw b N L McCullum 29/0/3/57/80

P J Hughes run out 0/0/0/4/8

*G J Bailey b N L McCullum 55/0/5/91/120

A Voges c B McCullum b McClenaghan 71/0/7/76/81

M R Marsh c Ronchi b McClenaghan 22/0/3/24/20

G J Maxwell not out 29/2/1/22/37

J Faulkner c McClenaghan b Williamson 6/0/0/12/12

M Johnson c B McCullum b McClenaghan 8/0/2/6/5

C J McKay not out 2/0/0/4/11

Extras (b1 lb7 w4 nb4) 16

Total (for 8, 50 overs) 243

Fall 1-5, 2-10, 3-74, 4-151, 5-193, 6-196, 7-210, 8-219.

Did not bat X J Doherty.

Bowling K D Mills 6-1-19-0, M J McClenaghan 10-0-65-4, D L Vettori 10-1-23-0, T G Southee 4-1-26-0, N L McCullum 10-0-46-2, K S Williamson 10-0-56-1.

New Zealand

Runs/6s/4s/Bls/Min

†L Ronchi c Watson b McKay 14/0/2/17/32

M J Guptill c Maxwell b McKay 8/0/1/13/17

K S Williamson not out 18/0/1/37/44

L R P L Taylor not out 9/0/0/23/29

Extras (lb1 w1) 2

Total (for 2, 15 overs) 51

Fall 1-18, 2-26.

Did not bat *B B McCullum, J E C Franklin, N L McCullum, D L Vettori, T G Southee, K D Mills, M J McClenaghan.

Bowling M G Johnson 4-0-18-0, C J McKay 4-0-10-2, S R Watson 3-1-11-0, J P Faulkner 3-0-7-0, X J Doherty 1-0-4-0.

Umpires H D P K Dharmasena and N J Llong.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there