Aussies under fire over 'horrible' scenes in ODI against New Zealand

·Sports Editor
·4-min read
Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne and Aaron Finch, pictured here in the first cricket ODI against New Zealand.
Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne and Aaron Finch were all dismissed cheaply in the first cricket ODI against New Zealand. Image: Getty

Australia secured a narrow win over New Zealand in the first ODI in Cairns, but there are serious question marks around their top order heading into next year's World Cup.

Cameron Green and Alex Carey steered Australia to an unlikely victory over the Black Caps on Tuesday, chasing down 233 with five overs to spare after slumping to 5-44 at one stage.

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Green survived cramps and a late collapse by the tail, hobbling between the wickets as Adam Zampa helped him take Australia to a two-wicket victory.

However much of the attention in the aftermath of the match was on Australia's top order, with under-fire captain Aaron Finch once again copping heat.

The skipper once again fell to a left-arm seamer, with Trent Boult trapping Finch lbw for just five - the same score he made in the third ODI against Zimbabwe.

Boult ripped through the top order as he snared three wickets, bowled 21 dot balls and conceded just 12 runs from his five-over spell.

The veteran seamer bowled Steve Smith for one and also had Marnus Labuschagne lbw for a duck.

Finch's dismissal took his ODI average in 2022 to just 14.08 - the lowest of any Australian opener in a calendar year after at least 10 innings.

Calls have been growing louder and louder for the skipper to be relieved of his duties ahead of the 2023 World Cup.

“At some stage, if he keeps failing this series, I think a call has to be made sooner rather than later,” Mark Waugh said in commentary for Fox Sports.

“It’s tough, but you can’t last forever. Everyone has their use-by date, no matter how good you are.”

Cameron Green rescues Australia with heroic knock

In their first of a three-game series, New Zealand managed just 9-232 after being sent in by Finch.

When Matt Henry had David Warner caught on the boundary before Marcus Stoinis was clean bowled, Australia were in dire straits.

But Carey and Green played exquisitely, their 158-run partnership anchoring Australia's chase which looked set to carry to the final runs.

Then Carey departed for 85 (99), with Glenn Maxwell quickly following and Mitchell Starc soon after.

Green battled leg and calf cramps and needed work from the trainer as Australia sat at 8-207.

At 8-225 it began to pour with rain. Adam Zampa smacked a boundary before the heavens opened, forcing the players from the field with Australia ahead on the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern rain calculation.

They were off for just seven minutes and returned needing four runs to win.

Cameron Green and Adam Zampa, pictured here celebrating after Australia's win over New Zealand.
Cameron Green and Adam Zampa celebrate after Australia's win over New Zealand. (Photo by SAEED KHAN/AFP via Getty Images)

They needed just two legal balls, with Zampa taking three runs off the rest of Mitchell Santner's over before Lockie Ferguson inadvertently finished it with a wide.

"I couldn't really walk for a sec there, credit to Zorb (Zampa) he was a finisher in the end," Green said.

"It was nice to be down the other end watching him go about it."

Zampa's handy knock of 13 not out was two more than Finch, Smith, Labuschagne and Stoinis contributed between them.

Carey said he and Green knew there was time to win back the contest.

"We knew we were in a bit of trouble, but we also knew there was lots of time left in the game," Carey told reporters.

"My job was to bounce off Greeny, and Greeny myself.

"We know how good he is. But taking this format to another step, he'll recover up nicely and go again on Thursday."

with AAP

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