The contest between Australia and New Zealand was set to go down the wire but became a victim of erratic showers until it was called off. However, Kane Williamson and Josh Hazlewood announced their arrivals in the ICC Champions Trophy with their blistering performances at Edgbaston, Birmingham on Friday.
Captain fantastic Kane Williamson led his team from the front. He scored his 9th ODI century of to anchor New Zealand to 291. Williamson hit eight fours and three sixes before he was run-out. After his dismissal the rest of the Kiwi batsmen failed to consolidate and post a 300 plus score. But their captain’s solid knock helped the Kiwis to put a defensible target.
Everyone was expecting Mitchell Starc to strike early but Josh Hazlewood had other plans. He got rid of the dangerman Martin Guptill for just 26 runs, breaking the opening stand of 40 runs. He then removed Neil Broom and Jimmy Neesham. Josh Hazlewood was on the verge of bagging the second hat-trick in the history of Champions Trophy: in the 45th over of the match Hazlewood when he struck twice in two balls to get rid of Adam Milne and Mitchell Satner. Trent Boult, however, denied him the hat-trick but fell on the next ball.
Hazlewood’s 6 for 52, second best in the Champions Trophy history, go down as his career’s best.