A David Warner century has powered Australia to a 116-run one-day win over New Zealand in Canberra, the home side regaining the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy in the process.
After Australia set a mammoth target of 379, the Black Caps were never really in the hunt with Warner’s brilliant 119 off 115 balls the difference.
Black Caps captain Kane Williamson’s gamble to bowl first on the batting-friendly Manuka Oval wicket was punished by Australia, as was the Kiwis’ sloppy work in the field.
Warner continued his sensational form, bringing up his sixth ODI century of 2016, as Australia posted their highest ODI total at home and their third-biggest overall.
— cricket.com.au (@CricketAus) December 6, 2016
The Black Caps’ run chase petered out as they were bowled out for 262 in the 48th over in front of a 9173-strong crowd.
After his brilliant 164 in Sydney, skipper Steve Smith smashed 72 off 76 balls to play the perfect foil to Warner.
Warner and Smith came together at 1-68 and put on 145 for the second wicket before Warner was removed by a sharp, low catch by Williamson at cover.
The visitors elected to bowl and were hoping to take advantage of some early movement due to rain during the day, however Warner soon looked settled and was rarely troubled as he smashed 14 fours and one six.
Travis Head (57 off 32) repaid coach Darren Lehmann’s faith to bump him up the order to No.4, making his second consecutive half-century.
Head was given a life when he was caught off the bowling of Matt Henry before it was called back because of a waist-high no-ball.
Mitchell Marsh finished off the innings with an unbeaten 76 off 40 balls, belting Henry for three consecutive sixes, as the Australians piled on 126 in the final 10 overs.
Fresh off a century in Sydney, Martin Guptill (45 off 33), made a promising start to the run chase before he became another of Pat Cummins’ victims (4-41).
Jimmy Neesham (74 off 83) made a solid contribution but by the time he skied Josh Hazlewood (2-42) to Mitchell Starc in the 31st over with his side at 3-177, the required run rate was up above 10 an over.
Williamson did his best to anchor the run chase but when his innings came to an end on 81 at the hands of Starc, the game was as good as done.
The Australians elected to leave out controversial allrounder Glenn Maxwell and Adam Zampa, leaving Head as their main spin option.
He responded by tying down an end and finished with figures of 0-31 from seven overs.
— Dave Middleton (@Dave_Middleton) December 6, 2016
After a deflating 2-1 Test loss to South Africa, Australia has regained some confidence.
“I think it’s one of those things where if you can get some fresh faces in, your energy gets up and going,” Warner said.
“I can’t really put my finger on it. I think the boys took it hard down in Hobart, losing that series on home soil, it really does hurt.
“I think it was the kick in the backside we needed.”
New Zealand bowler Tim Southee defended the decision to send Australia in, saying they expected the conditions to suit their swing bowlers.
“Obviously hindsight is a wonderful thing,” Southee said.
“I think the reasoning is the last couple of days have been overly hot and sunny, and with a little bit of rain around (on Tuesday) it might be a little bit tacky.
“If we made early in-roads then it could’ve been a different story.”