x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Australia cruise to final victory

Shane Watson's unbeaten century led Australia to a comfortable six-wicket win over New Zealand in the Champions Trophy final.

CENTURION, SOUTH AFRICA // Australia retained the trophy they won for the first time in 2006 as Shane Watson's unbeaten century led his team to a comfortable six-wicket win over New Zealand in the Champions Trophy final on Monday. New Zealand struggled to 200 for nine in their 50 overs after winning the toss and Australia recovered from the loss of two early wickets to reach their target with more than four overs to spare. Watson struck the last two balls of the match for six to finish on 105 not out. Cameron White made 62. New Zealand lost stand-in captain Brendon McCullum early for a duck in the fourth over after the Kiwis made a slow start. McCullum was deputising for Daniel Vettor,i who hurt a hamstring while the teams were preparing before the match. It was slow throughout New Zealand's innings as the batsmen battled to come to grips with some tight bowling. Martin Guptill was the top scorer for New Zealand with 40 off 64 balls, while the middle-order pair of Neil Broom and James Franklin shared a partnership of 65 for the sixth wicket in just over 14 overs. Broom was run out in a mix-up with Franklin for 37, his highest score in one-day internationals, while Franklin was bowled by a Brett Lee yorker for 33. The spinner Nathan Hauritz kept things quiet for Australia in the middle overs of the innings, and finished with 3-37 off his 10 overs. Next best of the Australian bowlers was Lee who took 2-45.

Australia: Shane Watson, Tim Paine, Ricky Ponting (captain), Michael Hussey, Cameron White, Callum Ferguson, James Hopes, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Nathan Hauritz, Peter Siddle. New Zealand: Brendon McCullum (captain), Aaron Redmond, Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, Grant Elliott, Neil Broom, James Franklin, Kyle Mills, Ian Butler, Shane Bond, Jeetan Patel. * AP and Reuters