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Australia clinches ODI series as Warner joins the greats

Cricket

David Warner has ascended into the upper echelon of the short form cricket greats following his match-winning century against New Zealand in Canberra.

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Warner pounded 119 off 115 balls in the 116-run win in the second one-dayer at Manuka Oval, as the home side regained the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy.

Statistics show the 30-year-old’s one-day form in 2016 not only ranks him amongst the country’s best ever, this calendar year has been amongst the best ever seen in world cricket.

“It’s probably been the format I struggled at early in my career,” Warner said about his growth in the 50-over format.

If the ball is there, I’m still going to go after it

“The last 18 to 24 months, I’ve worked really hard on trying to construct my innings and build my innings.

“And not play too many big shots early.

“If the ball is there, I’m still going to go after it but I think that’s what I put it down to – just trying to construct an innings and relay that Test attitude into the one-dayers.”

Warner set the tempo with a knock that included 14 fours and one six as Australia posted 5-378 from their 50 overs and it took a brilliant, diving catch from Black Caps skipper Kane Williamson to dismiss him.

It was his sixth ODI ton of 2016, the most ever hit by an Australian batsman in a calendar year, passing the record previously held by Matt Hayden and Ricky Ponting (five apiece).

If he can notch another century in the third and final ODI against the Black Caps in Melbourne, he will draw level with Sourav Ganguly (seven) for second most on the all-time list.

Indian great Sachin Tendulkar holds the record with nine 50-over tons in 1998.

Warner has now plundered 1232 ODI runs from 22 matches this year at an average of 58.66. He sits in fifth on the list for most one-day runs by an Australian in a year and can move past Adam Gilchrist (1241) into fourth in Melbourne.

He also has another two 90s this year, he made 93 against India in Canberra, in January and 98 against New Zealand in Wellington, in February.

The Black Caps’ run chase petered out as they were bowled out for 262 in the 48th over in front of a 9173-strong crowd.

After his brilliant 164 in Sydney, skipper Steve Smith smashed 72 off 76 balls to play the perfect foil to Warner.

Warner and Smith came together at 1-68 and put on 145 for the second wicket before Warner was removed by a sharp, low catch by Williamson at cover.

The visitors elected to bowl and were hoping to take advantage of some early movement due to rain during the day, however Warner soon looked settled and was rarely troubled as he smashed 14 fours and one six.

Travis Head (57 off 32) repaid coach Darren Lehmann’s faith to bump him up the order to No.4, making his second consecutive half century.

Head was given a life when he was caught off the bowling of Matt Henry before it was called back because of a waist-high no ball.

Mitchell Marsh finished off the innings with an unbeaten 76 off 40 balls, belting Henry for three consecutive sixes, as the Australians piled on 126 in the final 10 overs.

Fresh off a century in Sydney, Martin Guptill (45 off 33), made a promising start to the run chase before he became another of Pat Cummins’ victims (4-41).

Pat Cummins of Australia looks on as the sun sets during the second One Day International between Australia and New Zealand at Manuka Oval in Canberra, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY, IMAGES TO BE USED FOR NEWS REPORTING PURPOSES ONLY, NO COMMERCIAL USE WHATSOEVER, NO USE IN BOOKS WITHOUT PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT FROM AAP

Pat Cummins was on fire with the ball at Manuka Oval. Photo: Lukas Coch / AAP

Jimmy Neesham (74 off 83) made a solid contribution but by the time he skied Josh Hazlewood (2-42) to Mitchell Starc in the 31st over with his side at 3-177, the required run rate was up over 10-an-over.

Williamson did his best to anchor the run chase but when his innings came to an end on 81 at the hands of Starc, the game was as good as done.

The Australians elected to leave out controversial allrounder Glenn Maxwell and Adam Zampa, leaving Head as their main spin option.

He responded by tying down an end and finished with figures of 0-31 from seven overs.

I think it was the kick in the backside we needed

After a deflating 2-1 Test loss to South Africa, Australia has regained some confidence.

“I think it’s one of those things where if you can get some fresh faces in, your energy gets up and going,” Warner said.

“I can’t really put my finger on it. I think the boys took it hard down in Hobart, losing that series on home soil, it really does hurt.

“I think it was the kick in the backside we needed.”

Southee defended the decision to send Australia in, saying they expected the conditions to suit their swing bowlers.

“Obviously hindsight is a wonderful thing,” Southee said.

“I think the reasoning is the last couple of days have been overly hot and sunny, and with a little bit of rain around (on Tuesday) it might be a little bit tacky.

“If we made early in-roads then it could’ve been a different story.”

-AAP

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