Napier (New Zealand), Mar. 3 (ANI): Napier's McLean Park cricket ground erupted with joy after Scott Styris steered New Zealand to a thrilling two-wicket win over Australia in the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy cricket opener today.
Recalled for this series, Styris was only included after skipper Daniel Vettori withdrew with a neck injury, and the veteran all-rounder responded with an unbeaten 49 off 34 balls as New Zealand chased down Australia's 276 with four balls to spare.
Shane Bond (11 off eight deliveries) was the other hero, hitting Shane Watson for two boundaries in the 49th over as he and Styris took 12 runs off it, then Styris cracked Doug Bollinger over his head for six to send the crowd of 8257 into a frenzy.
He hit seven fours and a six in all.
It was New Zealand's fifth consecutive one-day international win over Australia on home soil and gave them a flying start in their bid to wrest back the trophy in the five-match series.
There was controversy, too, with Styris and Australian paceman Mitchell Johnson having a heated mid-pitch clash after he hit consecutive boundaries in the 46th over.
Johnson advanced on Styris and they clashed heads, which match referee Ranjan Madugalle may examine.
Stand-in skipper Ross Taylor - named man of the match - got New Zealand close with 70 off 71 balls.
Needing a tick under six an over in their chase, New Zealand flew into their work with Brendon McCullum (45 off 43) and Peter Ingram (40 off 41) racking up 75 off 11.2 overs.
Both departed by the 15 over mark, McCullum chopping on from Bollinger and Ingram lofting a catch.
Martin Guptill (9) and James Franklin (12) both laboured over their innings as Taylor cruised to 50 off 45 balls and New Zealand stayed ahead in the comparison.
New Zealand needed 71 off the final 10 overs with five wickets in hand, and Taylor in command, but he tried to hit Watson into the Harris Stand and was snared by Michael Hussey. When Neil Broom chopped Bollinger on for 19, two overs later, it was advantage Australia, the New Zealand Herald reports.
New Zealand's bowlers battled well to restrict Australia to 275 for eight on a belter of wicket. Michael Hussey top scored with 59 at a run-a-ball. Shane Watson chipped in with a 41-ball 35. (ANI)