DHARAMSALA: Travis Head’s rapid hundred trumped Rachin Ravindra’s gallant 116 as five-time champions Australia survived late drama against New Zealand before winning the highest-scoring match in World Cup history by just five runs to close in on a semi-final spot on Saturday.
Head smashed 109 in his first match of the World Cup and forged a breakneck 175-run opening stand with David Warner (81) to propel Australia to a commanding 388 all out at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium.
Ravindra led New Zealand’s spirited reply with his second hundred of the tournament, Daryl Mitchell adding 54 and Jimmy Neesham supplying late fireworks with a 33-ball fifty before the 2019 runners-up finished on 383-9 in 50 overs.
With a total of 771 runs, it was the highest scoring game at a World Cup, beating the 754 scored in South Africa’s win against Sri Lanka earlier in the tournament.
“That was awesome,” Australia captain Pat Cummins said after their fourth win in six matches. “Sometimes I have to remember I’m out in the field, not a spectator. A fantastic game, they kept coming at us.”
In a dramatic final over played out in the shadow of the Himalayas, New Zealand needed 19 to win.
Trent Boult scampered for a single before Mitchell Starc donated five wides down the leg side.
Neesham, one of the stars of the 2019 final which New Zealand lost to England, then took six runs off the next three balls.
However, attempting another two, he was run out from a fine throw by Marnus Labuschagne from the fence.
That left Lockie Ferguson, who had injured his Achilles in the field, needing to perform the heroics off the last ball.
Starc fired the ball in on a full length and Ferguson could only drill it straight to the cover fielder instead, leaving the Kiwis heartbroken.
“It was a fantastic game of cricket. There were ebbs and flows throughout the 100 overs,” said New Zealand captain Tom Latham. “Obviously to get so close hurts.”
The result left both sides with four wins and two defeats each and well-placed for the semi-finals.
Head had missed Australia’s first five matches with a fractured hand and he looked determined to make up for the lost time, racing to a 25-ball fifty as he and Warner took Australia to the 150-mark in the 15th over.
Glenn Phillips broke the burgeoning stand by taking a return catch to dismiss Warner, but Head raced to a 59-ball century.
Phillips came to New Zealand’s rescue again breaching Head’s defence with a skidding delivery to end the batter’s 67-ball blitz, which was studded with seven sixes and 10 fours.
Phillips then accounted for Steve Smith (18) as he claimed career-best figures of 3-37 before fellow spinner Mitchell Santner got in on the act.
Santner beat the defences of Mitchell Marsh (36) and the left-armer then dismissed Marnus Labuschagne (18) after the batsman had been dropped on one.
Neesham had middle-order dangerman Glenn Maxwell caught at long-off by Trent Boult for a 24-ball 41. Maxwell had come into the match fresh from a World Cup record 40-ball hundred against the Netherlands.
Josh Inglis raced to a 28-ball 38 and skipper Cummins clobbered four sixes in his 37 off 14 balls before Australia collapsed with four balls left in their innings.
New Zealand were uncharacteristically sloppy in the field, dropping five catches, with Head the beneficiary on two occasions.
In reply, New Zealand, runners-up in the last two World Cups, saw Will Young (32) and Devon Conway (28) put on 61 for the first wicket before both fell to Josh Hazlewood.
Mitchell hit his third fifty of the tournament to follow his 130 last time out against India but fell on 54 when leg-spinner Adam Zampa had him holing out to long-on with his team on 168-3 after 24 overs.
Mitchell put on 96 for the third wicket with Ravindra.
The 23-year-old Ravindra, who scored 123 in the opening win over England, reached three figures from 77 balls with seven fours and five sixes.
But with New Zealand needing 97 to win off 60 balls, Ravindra was caught in the deep off Cummins.
That left the Kiwis on 293-6 but Neesham injected fresh drama into the contest with a never-say-die 58 even though New Zealand ended just short of their target.
Australia v New Zealand
D. Warner c & b Phillips 81
T. Head b Phillips 109
M. Marsh b Santner 36
S. Smith c Boult b Phillips 18
M. Labuschagne c Ravindra b Santner 18
G. Maxwell c Boult b Neesham 41
J. Inglis c Phillips b Boult 38
P. Cummins lbw b Boult 37
M. Starc c Neesham b Henry 1
A. Zampa b Boult 0
J. Hazlewood not out 0
EXTRAS (B-1, NB-2, W-6) 9
TOTAL (all out, 49.2 overs) 388
FALL OF WICKETS: 1-175 (Warner), 2-200 (Head), 3-228 (Smith), 4-264 (Marsh), 5-274 (Labuschagne), 6-325 (Maxwell), 7-387 (Inglis), 8-388 (Cummins), 9-388 (Zampa)
BOWLING: Henry 6.2-0-67-1 (2w, 2nb); Boult 10-0-77-3 (3w); Ferguson 3-0-38-0; Santner 10-0-80-2 (1w); Phillips 10-0-37-3; Ravindra 8-0-56-0; Neesham 2-0-32-1
D. Conway c Starc b Hazlewood 28
W. Young c Starc b Hazlewood 32
R. Ravindra c Labuschagne b Cummins 116
D. Mitchell c Starc b Zampa 54
T. Latham c Hazlewood b Zampa 21
G. Phillips c Labuschagne b Maxwell 12
J. Neesham run out (Labuschagne/Inglis) 58
M. Santner c Maxwell b Zampa 17
M. Henry c Hazlewood b Cummins 9
T. Boult not out 10
L. Ferguson not out 0
EXTRAS (LB-4, W-22) 26
TOTAL (for nine wickets, 50 overs) 383
FALL OF WICKETS: 1-61 (Conway), 2-72 (Young), 3-168 (Mitchell), 4-222 (Latham), 5-265 (Phillips), 6-293 (Ravindra), 7-320 (Santner), 8-346 (Henry), 9-383 (Neesham)
BOWLING: Starc 9-0-89-0 (9w); Hazlewood 9-0-70-2 (1w); Cummins 10-0-66-2 (3w); Maxwell 10-0-62-1; Zampa 10-0-74-3; Marsh 2-0-18-0 (1w) RESULT: Australia won by five runs.
MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: Travis Head
Bangladesh v Netherlands
V. Singh c Shakib b Taskin 3
M. O’Dowd c Tanzid b Shoriful 0
W. Barresi c Shakib b Mustafizur 41
C. Ackermann c Mustafizur b Shakib 15
S. Edwards c Mehidy b Mustafizur 68
B. de Leede c Mushfiqur b Taskin 17
S. Engelbrecht lbw b Mahedi 35
L. van Beek not out 23
S. Ahmad run out 6
A. Dutt c Mehidy b Shoriful 9
P. van Meekeren lbw b Mahedi 0
EXTRAS (B-4, LB-1, W-7) 12
TOTAL (all out, 50 overs) 229
FALL OF WICKETS: 1-3 (Singh), 2-4 (O’Dowd), 3-63 (Barresi), 4-63 (Ackermann), 5-107 (De Leede), 6-185 (Edwards), 7-185 (Engelbrecht), 8-194 (Ahmad), 9-212 (Dutt)
BOWLING: Shoriful 10-0-51-2 (3w); Taskin 9-1-43-2 (1w); Shakib 10-1-37-1; Mehidy 4-0-17-0; Mustafizur 10-1-36-2 (1w); Mahedi 7-0-40-2 (1w)
Liton Das c Edwards b Dutt 3
Tanzid Hasan c Edwards b van Beek 15
Mehidy Hasan Miraz c Edwards b de Leede 35
Najmul Hossain c van Beek b van Meekeren 9
Shakib Al Hasan c Edwards b van Meekeren 5
Mushfiqur Rahim b van Meekeren 1
Mahmudullah c Dutt b de Leede 20
Mahedi Hasan run out 17
Taskin Ahmed c de Leede b van Meekeren 11
Mustafizur Rahman b Ackermann 20
Shoriful Islam not out 0
EXTRAS (W-6) 6
TOTAL (all out, 42.2 overs) 142
FALL OF WICKETS: 1-19 (Das), 2-19 (Tanzid), 3-45 (Najmul), 4-63 (Shakib), 5-68 (Mehidy), 6-70 (Mushfiqur), 7-108 (Mahedi), 8-113 (Mahmudullah), 9-142 (Mustafizur)
BOWLING: Dutt 10-3-26-1; Van Beek 9-1-30-1 (4w); Ackermann 7-1-25-1; Van Meekeren 7.2-0-23-4 (2w); De Leede 7-0-25-2; Ahmad 2-0-13-0 RESULT: Netherlands won by 87 runs.
MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: Paul van Meekeren
Published in Dawn, October 29th, 2023