Boult's six-wicket haul dented Australia's progress in chase of 282 © Getty Images
Boult’s six-wicket haul dented Australia’s progress in chase of 282 © Getty Images

New Zealand defeated Australia by 24 runs in the third and the final One-Day International (ODI) in Hamilton to regain the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy 2016-17. Trent Boult ran through the Australian side by claiming his best ODI bowling figures of 6 for 33 to register an emphatic series win which was also an embarrassing whitewash on their neighbors. Ross Taylor excelled for his team in the first innings by scoring his 16th ODI century to come at par with Nathan Astle, who holds the record of maximum number of hundreds by any Kiwi batsmen. Australia were bundled out for 257 as only a handful of batsmen were able to give a tough fight in this series decider. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights of the third and the final ODI which set the tone for the Kiwi victory: FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: New Zealand vs Australia, 3rd ODI at Hamilton

Comeback fifty: For any batsman, to make a comeback at the highest level of cricket is always tough. Same would have been the case for Dean Brownlie, who made his comeback after two years. Prior to this, he had played 10 ODIs and had the highest score of 47. The beard he sports now gives him more of a Khal Drogo look. But let’s just keep it there about his looks. Brownlie came in place of Martin Guptill. He looked more confident today than his partner Tom Latham and his  confidence was evident with the glorious cover drive he played off Hazlewood’s bowling. He did not hit the ball hard, but relied mostly on timing. He lost his partners twice; first Latham and then Kane Williamson, but still carried on playing with the same perfection. He took a lot of time to get to his maiden fifty due to Taylor’s hitting at the other end and played a matured knock without attempting any rash shot.

Well stitched innings: Taylor is the most experienced player in the current New Zealand squad. He has time and again proved why his inclusion in the squad is must despite being out of form on numerous occasions. When Taylor came out to bat, hosts had 76 runs on the board and a well-settled Brownlie at the other end. Usually, any new batsmen walking in would have taken the role of second fiddle but Taylor took off the moment he stepped out. He did not allow the Australian bowling department any moment of rejoices even though they had got the wicket of Williamson.

As New Zealand already had the unassailable lead in the series, Taylor went all guns blazing against the likes of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and even Adam Zampa. He stitched up 100 runs for the third wicket with Brownlie off just 108 deliveries which formed the base for the strong New Zealand total. If it was not for Taylor’s innings, this match could have resulted in a different manner.

Eventful 6 deliveries: It was the last over in the New Zealand innings and Mitchell Santner and Tim Southee were at the crease with score reading 265 for 7. Mitchell Starc was handed the responsibility to bowl the last 6 deliveries and restrict the hosts to the minimum total they could.

On the first delivery, Starc came round the wicket and bowled a searing 146 kmph yorker on the base of middle stump and Southee was nowhere near to even get the bat to it.

On second delivery, once again Starc bowled another yorker to Lockie Ferguson and the stumps were dismantled.

These two deliveries were more or less like, You miss and I hit.

Starc had so far bowled two deliveries and got two wickets conceding no run. Moreover, he was on a hat-trick.

Next to come in as the last batsman was Boult, who expected a yorker this time, but Starc missed and bowled a full-toss which was well below the waist height but the umpire still called it a no-ball. Boult trudged and stole a quick single.

On next delivery, Santner tried to heave over the bowler’s head but missed to even make a contact on the free-hit.

Till this point, three deliveries were bowled, two wickets had fallen and a single was conceded. Importantly, the momentum was on the bowler’s side.

Next delivery, Starc bowled outside off at 148.8 kmph but Santner smacked it over extra cover for four.

Starc’s quickest ball came in the last over of the innings.

On the fifth delivery, Santner whipped a low full toss over midwicket for another four.

On the last delivery, Santner finished off in style as he got under the length bowl and whacked it for a six over deep midwicket.

Gritty fifties: The need was for someone to stay and bat responsibly. Aaron Finch and Travis Head took that responsibility. They batted out brilliantly but only for the losing cause. They had set the stage for the batsmen to follow to play responsibly and see the victory without much hassle. But their middle-order failed. Both Finch and Head started together when team had lost two wickets for just 44 runs. Boult and Southee were unplayable with too much of bounce and pace on offer. Yet they played matured cricket and scored 75 runs at almost 5.62 RPO.

Lightening Boult: Whenever Williamson wanted to stop the flow of runs or get breakthroughs, he gave the ball to Boult and the pacer got the job done. Boult kept chipping at the other end, taking wickets or at least applying breaks on the scoring. His last spell proved game changer as he wiped out the Australian tail that looked like taking the game away from them at one point. He was bang on the money with no margin of error.