Black Caps make cricket history

Saturday, February 17, 2007

New Zealand's national cricket team, the "Black Caps", made One Day International Cricket history yesterday when they inflicted a ten wicket defeat on an under-strength Australian side, at Wellington. It is the first time in O.D.I. Cricket history that Australia has suffered a ten wicket loss.

It is also the first time in over a year that New Zealand have beaten Australia. This lends credibility to the view that the current New Zealand side has a culture of mediocrity, as they have not beaten a top-level side at full-strength for a long time.

New Zealand won the toss and elected to field first. Australia were already in trouble, when by the fourth over they had lost two wickets for a mere 16 runs, the damage coming from New Zealand's pace bowler, Shane Bond, who finished the day with a five wicket haul including a spectacular caught-and-bowled off Australia's Cameron White.

With Australia bowled out for an unimpressive 148, New Zealand took up the bat and reached the target in only 27 overs. The partnership between Lou Vincent and Stephen Fleming was unbreakable, despite several close shaves.

A few key members of the Australian side were conspicuously absent, notably Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist and Brett Lee. However, Australia (currently world no.1) has lost four of its last five One Day International matches only two months before the International Cricket World Cup.

If Australia lose either of their next two matches against New Zealand, they will slip to no.2 position, with South Africa occupying first place on the ICC's one-day rankings.