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Page last updated at 10:59 GMT, Friday, 6 February 2009

Elliott sees Kiwis past Australia

Second one-day international, Melbourne:
New Zealand 226-4 (48.5 overs) beat Australia 225-5 (50 overs) by six wickets
Match scorecard

Ross Taylor
Taylor was again in sensational form for New Zealand (Library picture)

Grant Elliott made his highest one-day score to guide New Zealand past Australia in Melbourne and give them a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.

Stand-in captain Michael Clarke hit 98 and Michael Hussey hit 75 as the hosts, who were put in to bat, posted 225-5.

Brendon McCullum (43) got the reply off to a fine start before Ross Taylor (47) put the Kiwis on course for victory.

Elliot then made an unbeaten 61 as he and Neil Broom led New Zealand to a six-wicket win with seven balls left.

The tourists are now firm favourites to reclaim the Chappell-Hadlee Series with the third one-dayer in Sydney on Sunday.

Australia, who have now suffered five consecutive defeats in all competitions, must triumph there if they are to keep alive their hopes of winning the series.

But they must raise their performance level significantly for that to happen.

Clarke, deputising for the rested Ricky Ponting, had never led a losing team in his seven previous matches in charge of Australia in one-day and Twenty20 cricket.

We've had good plans for a long time but this is the first time we've stood up and executed them

New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori

But that record has now gone and, were it not for the 27-year-old's contribution with the bat, it would have been a far heavier defeat for the hosts.

Fielding one of their most inexperienced line-ups in recent times, Australia could not afford another poor start with the bat.

But, despite Clarke's promotion to open the batting, David Warner, Brad Haddin and David Hussey were all back in the pavilion by the 18th over.

Australia appeared most settled when the most senior batsmen - Clarke and Hussey - were at the crease and the pair took few risks in their 133-run stand.

But New Zealand bowled with impressive discipline, Kyle Mills claiming 1-12 from his six overs with the new ball, and Iain O'Brien denying Australia a final flurry at the death.

O'Brien was particularly effective, taking the key wickets of Clarke and Michael Hussey.

Despite an early wicket from Nathan Bracken, Australia's attack again lacked penetration.

James Hopes (2-30) lifted the home side's spirits by removing Peter Fulton and McCullum but Taylor was on hand to lead the Black Caps forward for the second time in the series.

Crucially, he was dropped in the deep by Michael Hussey when on 37 in the 37th over before falling four overs later when he was caught behind trying to slog Mitchell Johnson.

Fortunately for Taylor, Elliott and Broom ensured his mistake did not spark a remarkable comeback.

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"It's the same result as we're used to of late unfortunately," said Clarke. "We're so close, we just can't get over the line.

"I think we were 20 or 30 short with the bat and I think myself and Huss will probably take responsibility for that.

"I think I could have scored a little quicker towards the end of my innings but we tried our best in the field and things just didn't seem to go our way.

"We thought the wicket was pretty slow and their spinners bowled well so we tried to adapt and hang in there until the last 15 overs but we probably didn't score enough at the end."

New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori added: "It was a great win, once again set up by the way we bowled and fielded. Kyle Mills in these last two games has just been outstanding and I think everyone's followed his lead.

"We've had good plans for a long time but this is the first time we've stood up and executed them. We've had two wickets that have suited our style of bowling and because of that we've bowled exceptionally well."

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see also
Kiwis snatch win in Perth opener
01 Feb 09 |  Cricket
Ponting rues Australian mistakes
30 Jan 09 |  Cricket
S Africa top rankings after win
30 Jan 09 |  Cricket
New Zealand wait on Ryder injury
29 Jan 09 |  New Zealand
New Zealand in Australia 2008-09
01 Dec 08 |  Cricket


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