Carey and Starc spearhead thumping victory over New Zealand
A muscle flexing assertion of World Cup preeminence from a nation of big game players.
That’s what was on display at Lord’s when Australia dealt New Zealand a crushing blow, handing the Black Caps their second consecutive loss, an 86 run drubbing.
Aaron Finch finally won a toss and elected to bat but he and opening partner David Warner, the tournament’s two leading runscorers, were dismissed cheaply for 8 and 16 respectively.
Smith, Stoinis, and Maxwell, all failed to get going and Australia looked in trouble after slumping to 5 for 92.
A steady-as-she-goes Usman Khawaja anchored Australia and allowed man of the match Alex Carey to play the role of boundary hunter, scoring 11 of the defending champions 12 boundaries before a momentary lapse saw him spoon one to Martin Guptil.
Trent Boult tasted blood in the water and attacked savagely, scalping Khawaja on 88, then Mitchell Starc and Jason Behrendorf in successive deliveries to notch up a final over hattrick.
Set a target of 243 to chase, which on any other day felt 20 or 30 runs short, New Zealand stumbled, stuttered and failed to fire in a listless batting performance on a deck where runs were on offer.
A brief half-century stand from Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson was the only batting moment of note in the Kiwis innings which, if we’re being kind, showed some signs of promise early.
However it was another masterclass of seam, pace, and left arm venom from Mitchell Starc who finished with his second five-wicket haul this tournament, and a record-setting third World Cup fifer.
Starc struck dutifully in his second spell, taking the key wicket of Kane Williamson before tearing through the Kiwi tail to finish with figures of 5/26.
The victory sees Australia cement a top two finish while New Zealand’s place in the semi-finals remains up for grabs.