CWC19: Australia vs New Zealand – Five Things We Learned

What did we learn from the Aussies fighting win over New Zealand?

Usually, when a player takes a rare World Cup hat-trick, that team is going to win, but not this time, as this ended up being very one-sided as Australia won by 86 runs, 243 to 157 all out, and New Zealand fall deeper into depression, and are now a very real chance of being knocked out.

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Five Things We Learned:

(1) Kane Williamson can fail – sort of

40 off 51 was his team’s top score and he took a wicket as well, but he wasn’t his team’s best player and was a long way from man of the match. Indeed, when he was out, it felt like Australia were going to win. Had he stuck around for a bit longer, New Zealand were a chance.

(2) Australia fight like crazy

At 5/92 with only Usman Khawaja left it looked like Australia might be all out for about 150 or perhaps 200, but instead they fought hard with Khawaja and Carey adding 107 runs for the 6th wicket, with Carey providing 71 of them, and then Khawaja kept going right to the end. It was the same when New Zealand batted too, as New Zealand were sitting pretty on 2/97 but then a collapse started and it just kept going.

(3) Well done for a second pointless hat-trick

The Mohammad Shami hat-trick against Afghanistan looked better than it was, as only the first wicket mattered – but this one was even worse, as Australia had already won the game before the first of the three wickets fell. It looked good for New Zealand but there were only 4 balls left when Trent Boult took the first of the 3 wickets. Strangely enough, both hat-tricks started at 49.3 and finished at 49.5 in the innings. This one was the least important of the two but neither changed the match.

(4) Mitchell Starc is like a shark – a sniff of blood and he gets hungry

Giving Starc a wicket is just stupid, and yet he seems to do it in the first over of a new spell so often it’s crazy. Kane Williamson obviously didn’t mean to get out but once he did the writing was on the wall. Starc didn’t get a hat-trick, or even 2 wickets in the same over, but he still took 5 and New Zealand had no chance against him.

(5) Usman Khawaja isn’t useless

He was a bit unlucky not to get the man of the match award for his top score of 88 off 129 balls, the decision going to Carey for his quicker 71 off 72, but in the context Khawaja was probably the better player for me, as he made sure that Australia weren’t bowled out. His position in the side had been questioned for some but here he showed why he is useful. When batting was at its hardest, he dug in and grew some roots, refusing to be dislodged until right at the very end.

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