ICC Champions Trophy – Australia v New Zealand: Voges stands up

The build up to this game was completely overtaken by the David Warner incident in a Birmingham bar after the England game on Sunday night. The Australian opener’s attack/punch thrown on England batsman Joe Root has seen the left hander omitted for the team to take on the Kiwis as well as facing a Cricket Australia hearing. The Yorkshireman’s last name and Warner’s recent average form has led to many good jokes and puns being used on social media. And a  further setting back of the New South Welshman’s captaincy ambitions. That Warner’s name has even been mentioned in leadership discussions shows the hole we are in.

Two changes for Australia, with Glenn Maxwell and Xavier Doherty in for Warner and Mitchell Starc, who looked out of sorts against England. Batting first, Australia was in trouble early at 2/10 with Watson being caught behind and Hughes run out, before a consolidating 64 run partnership between Matthew Wade, who was promoted to fill Warner’s opening slot, and stand in captain George Bailey. Wade and Bailey have been criticised for their run rates during this innings but how are you meant to bat when the score is 2/10? And the Edgbaston pitch, as it was against England, wasn’t the easiest pitch to bat on.

Adam Voges joined Bailey at the crease after Nathan McCullum trapped Wade LBW for 29 off 57 balls and the West Australian looks in good touch and keen to make the most of what is probably his last crack at International level. Having said that, there are huge opportunities in Australian colours for Voges (and Bailey) over the next 2-3 years if he can make the most of his chances. This pair put on 77 for the fouth wicket before Bailey is bowled by Nathan McCullum with a delivery that spins back sharply and keeps very low before hitting middle and leg. Another solid knock from the Tasmanian skipper (55 off 91 balls) but he looked understandably frustrated at not going on to make a bigger score as he walked off.

Voges was superb, sweetly timing his drives through the covers and straight down the ground. He is eventually dismissed for 71 off 76 balls and has considerably helped his immediate prospects. Mitch Marsh helps the score along in making 22 off 24 balls while Glenn Maxwell boosts the final total with an unbeaten 29 off 22 balls, including 2 sixes as the Aussies finish at 8/243. Mitch McClenaghan has the best bowling figures for the Kiwis with 4/65 off 10 overs, giving him 26 wickets at an average of 17.03 in his first 9 ODI’s. Of only average pace, McClenaghan swings the ball late, and bowls some absolute jaffas mixed up with some absolute tripe. The 27 year old Auckland left-armer hasn’t been tried at Test level by the Black Caps and is unlikely to be tried in the near future given the presence of classy young left armer Trent Boult and his average First-Class record of 76 wickets in 26 matches at an average of 39.03. Dan Vettori bowls the best for the Kiwis conceding just 23 runs in his 10 overs despite going wicketless.

In reply New Zealand limp to 2/51 off 15 overs before the rain sets in and the game is abandoned. Clint McKay lives up to his top 10 world ODI bowling ranking, taking both wickets in his 4 over spell. Former West Australian (and 4 x ODI & 3 X T20 Australian) wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi made 14 off 17 balls before smashing one straight to Watson at gully. Like Matthew Wade, I see Ronchi as being far more suited to batting down the order where he can be extremely damaging late in an innings. Great to see his gamble in moving back to the country of his birth has given him another shot at International cricket. Australia were on top at the time of the rain setting in and New Zealand would have needed major contributions from the not out batsman Williamson (18) and Taylor (9) to have a shot at overtaking the Aussie’s score.

Only getting one point for this match after the defeat by England pretty much rules Australia out of going further in this competition and defending our title. Our final match of the group stage sees Australia play Sri Lanka in a Day/Night game at The Oval in London on Monday night/Tuesday morning Australian time. As it is the last match of the entire Champions Trophy group stage, the Aussies fate will likely be known before the game starts. But we do have a much, much more important trophy to play for this English summer.

David Warner has been fined and suspended for the rest of the Champions Trophy as well as the two tour matches leading into the Ashes series. At least we have 4 or 5 other openers in the Ashes squad. No doubt the selectors will find a reason to fit him in for the 1st Test at Trent Bridge.

AUSTRALIA: 8/243 (Voges 71, Bailey 55, Maxwell 29*, Wade 29, McClenaghan 4/65, N.McCullum 2/46) v

NEW ZEALAND: 2/51 (Williamson 18*, Ronchi 14, McKay 2/10)

Match abandoned due to rain

No votes given for abandoned game

About Luke Reynolds

Cricket and Collingwood tragic. Twitter: @crackers134

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