Australia v New Zealand Second ODI
Tuesday December 6, 2:20pm AEDT
Australia will be hoping to wrap up the series and reclaim the Chappell-Hadlee trophy with another victory over New Zealand in the second ODI in Canberra on Tuesday.
The Aussies got back to their winning ways in the ODI format with a dominant 68-run win over the Kiwis at the SCG on Sunday which was underpinned by a brilliant performance from captain Steve Smith. After winning the toss and electing to bat, Smith found himself at the crease in the first over when opener Aaron Finch departed for a first ball duck but unperturbed he went on to compile a majestic 164 including 14 fours and four sixes. Not satisfied with recording the highest individual ODI score at the SCG, Smith then took a stunning catch to dismiss ‘keeper BJ Watling during a pivotal point in the Black Caps’ run chase.
With the bat Smith received admirable support from Travis Head who amassed his highest ODI score of 52, before wicket-keeper Matthew Wade supplied the pyrotechnics with a frenzied 38 off just 22 balls which pushed Australia to their eventual total of 8/324.
In the field paceman Josh Hazlewood continued his prolific summer, picking up 3/49 including the key wickets of top-order pair Tom Latham and Kane Williamson. The rest of the bowlers all chipped in with timely wickets, although the returning Pat Cummins copped some punishment, conceding 62 off nine overs in his first ODI for 15 months. It’s expected the selectors will persevere with the young speedster, however if he does make way then James Faulkner should slot back into the side at number eight, while the form of Head should be enough to keep Glenn Maxwell on drink-carrying duties.
Although their eventual margin of defeat was significant, New Zealand got off to a great start in Sydney by reducing Australia to 4/92 before the crucial partnership between Smith and Head took the game away from the visitors. Trent Boult bowled with excellent control early on and eventually claimed the wickets of both Smith and Head to finish with 2/51. Debutant Lockie Ferguson bowled with impressive pace, however conceded 45 off his last four overs to finish with unflattering figures of 1/73 off nine overs. Both Ferguson and all-rounder Jimmy Neesham (2/58 off six overs) were targeted by Smith and Wade as the Black Caps leaked an alarming 101 from the last eight overs.
In reply, talented opener Martin Guptill shrugged off a recent run of poor form to smash a superb 114 off 102 balls, however he lacked the requisite support to give the home side’s formidable total a decent shake. Nevertheless the powerful Colin Munro showed some promise with a handy 49 and Neesham made up for some of his profligacy with the ball by spanking 34 off 36 balls. More concerning is the contribution of all-rounder Mitchell Santner who has now failed to pass 20 with the bat or take more than one wicket with the ball in his last six ODIs. If Santner is omitted then leg-spinner Todd Astle shapes as his most likely replacement, while batsman Henry Nicholls may also be brought in to shore up the middle-order and swing specialist Tim Southee will push for a return to the starting XI.
Manuka Oval is another high-scoring ground with the last three first innings totals coming in at 8/348, 4/411 and 2/372. It comes as no surprise then that the side batting first has won the last six ODIs in Canberra with the average margin of victory 86 runs. It’s also worth noting that five opening batsmen have managed centuries in the last three ODIs here.
- A victory here will secure Australia’s 11th series win from their last 14 ODI series’
- Australia have not beaten New Zealand in consecutive ODIs since March 2010
- New Zealand have not won an ODI series in Australia since 1983
- New Zealand have now lost five of their last seven ODIs away from home
- The last three ODIs at Manuka Oval have averaged 16.7 sixes
Australia are relatively heavy favourites to secure the series in the nation’s capital with the Kiwis’ performance in Sydney doing little to endear them to punters.
While you could do far worse than side with a team that has dominated the format for the best part of the last few years and has a particularly imposing record at home, the price about the Aussies is getting quite short, especially when you consider that while they ultimately claimed a comfortable victory in Sydney, there were times when they were noticeably on the back foot. At 4/92 in the first innings and then when Guptill was in full-flight, the Australians looked more like the rabble that was whitewashed in South Africa, than the ruthless side which has almost forgotten how to lose at home, so I therefore cannot be backing them at such short odds.
However it’s also tough to have sufficient faith in the Black Caps who are desperately missing some stability in their middle-order and also have a few holes in their bowling attack in these conditions. They are renowned fighters as evidenced by the fact they have not lost consecutive matches to Australia in this format for almost seven years and within their XI they contain a handful of powerful game-breakers who can change the course of a match at any point, but I would need to see more consistent output from them before I consider taking on the all-conquering Aussies, which leaves us to explore options outside of the match odds market.
With another high-scoring ground playing host to this match we can expect more runs to flow off the bat and in all likelihood, more balls to disappear into the crowd. In their last six matches, ODIs involving Australia have averaged 12.8 sixes, while ODIs involving New Zealand have averaged 8.7 sixes. Four of Australia’s last six ODIs have exceeded seven total sixes, while five of New Zealand’s last six have had seven or more. Furthermore in the last six ODIs at Manuka Oval there has been an average of 11.8 sixes, with the average as high as 16.7 from the last three games there.
After both sides managed eight sixes apiece in Sydney and given the presence of big-hitters such as Warner, Finch, Marsh, Guptill, Munro and de Grandhomme I’ll be happily backing that the total match sixes will comfortably exceed the nominal line of 7.5.
BACK Over 7.5 sixes at 1.60 or better for 2 units.