New Zealand v Australia Third ODI
Monday February 8, 12pm
With the series locked at 1-1, the Chappell-Hadlee trophy will be on the line in the third and deciding ODI between New Zealand and Australia in Hamilton on Monday.
The Black Caps missed their chance to wrap-up the series in Wellington on Saturday after going down by four wickets. Batting first, a number of their batsmen made starts but no one managed to kick on beyond Kane Williamson’s 60 which left them with an underwhelming total of 9/281. Despite dismissing four of Australia’s top-order batsmen for single figures, it was never quite enough as the visitors got home with three-and-a-half overs to spare.
Adam Milne endured a tough night with the ball, conceding 58 off nine overs without taking a wicket, and he may find himself swapped out for the dependable Doug Bracewell. On the positive side, all-rounder Mitchell Santner backed up an unbeaten 45 with the bat with figures of 3/47 including the key wickets of openers Usman Khawaja and David Warner. The Kiwis will be looking to maintain their proud record of not having lost an ODI series at home since October 2014.
The visitors managed to halt a slide of five consecutive limited-overs defeats on Saturday and will be looking to regain the Chappell-Hadlee trophy for the first time since 2010. At Westpac Stadium leg-spinner Adam Zampa made a promising debut, claiming 2/57 including the prize scalp of Williamson. He may not have taken any wickets but John Hastings continued his excellent form by conceding just 42 off his ten overs and was the only Australian bowler not to get hit for six.
An opening partnership of 122 off 16 overs between David Warner (98 off 79) and the returning Usman Khawaja (50 off 49) set the Aussies on course for victory, however a mini-collapse of 4/22 meant that they needed an unbroken stand of 86 between Mitchell Marsh (69 off 72) and Hastings (48 off 47) to get over the line. While changes for the decider are unlikely, Australia won’t be able to call on Kane Richardson who is suffering a back complaint and has been replaced in the squad by young left-arm quick Joel Paris.
Seddon Park has been particularly kind to the side batting second who have won four of the past five ODIs, while in the only loss for the chasing side Zimbabwe still managed a second innings total of 277 against a full-strength South African attack. Black Caps skipper Brendon McCullum has an enviable record here, averaging 66 from 12 innings at a strike-rate of 105.38.
The market is slightly favouring Australia to claim a series victory, with the hosts marginal outsiders. Given what we’ve seen over the first two games of the series those odds are probably fair, although there may be an opportunity to side with New Zealand provided they bat first, as they have done in the opening two encounters.
In those first two matches openers Martin Guptill and Brendon McCullum have got the Kiwis away to a rapid start and in the process the Black Caps have gone odds-on inside the opening overs. Given that this is McCullum’s last ever one-day international and the fact he has such a strong record at this ground, I have no problem in putting my faith in him to succeed here.
However one area where Australia’s bowlers have been particularly effective in not just this series, but also at home against India, is in clawing back during the middle overs after a fast start by the opposition. I’m also quite happy to oppose the New Zealanders’ out-of-sorts middle-order where Grant Elliott and Corey Anderson in particular have found the going tough. Furthermore the chasing side has such a good recent record at this ground which is further evidence that we should adopt a back-to-lay strategy.
Therefore if the home side bats first I’ll be starting out by backing them before swiftly looking to trade out once McCullum and co have done the damage in the first powerplay.
If New Zealand bat first, I’ll be placing a Back bet at the pre-match odds and then put a Lay bet in at $1.65. I’ll be staking 1 unit in total.