Marcus Stoinis’ 146 off 117 balls lifted Australia from 54-5 to 280 all out in a remarkable six-run victory for New Zealand in Auckland on Monday.
After losing the toss and being put in to bat, New Zealand posted 286-9. Martin Guptill (61 off 73 balls), Neil Broom (73 off 75 balls) and James Neesham (48 off 45 balls) the top contributors for the Black Caps. Stoinis chipped in taking 3-49 with help from Pat Cummins’ 2-67 as the rest of Australia’s bowlers picked up one each.
Australia got their chase off to an awful start. The Baggy Greens posted 54 runs for five wickets in 13 overs as a win was starting to look inevitable for NZ.
In stepped Stoinis in a one-man show.
In only his second ODI, the 27-year-old almost pulled off the unthinkable. He continued to take the attack to NZ despite losing partners along the way and with Australia on 121-6 after 31 overs, hit two sixes in the 32nd to bring up his half-century in 64 balls. Stoinis continued to show no fear throughout his innings with Australia on the ropes at 226-9 with seven overs remaining.
Stoinis kept the strike from this point and hit a six to bring up his first career ton in 96 balls (seven fours and six sixes) and hit another the following delivery as Australia required 43 runs from 36 balls. He took the onslaught to NZ hitting four more maximums and two fours, bringing up a 54-run 10th-wicket partnership with Hazelwood in 45.5 overs, without Hazelwood facing a single delivery.
With 19 balls remaining and seven runs needed for victory, a scrambled shot from Stoinis (146 off 117) sent Hazlewood running aimlessly out his crease, only for the ball to go straight to Williamson, who ingeniously placed himself at short mid-on. He sent the bails flying as New Zealand claimed the dramatic six-run win.
Stoinis only had one century in his 38 list A games with an average of just 25.45 and strike rate of just over 70, but his Man of the Match performance in the first ODI against New Zealand was breathtaking. He hit the highest innings by an Australian No 7 and became the first Australian to take three wickets and score a century.
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