Sun, Feb 18, 2007 - Page 7 News List

Kiwis determined to show they can top Aussies again

AFP , AUCKLAND

The New Zealand cricketers are determined to prove their 10-wicket humbling of Australia was not an aberration when they clash here today in the second match of the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy series.

But their celebrations after the emphatic victory in the first match have been tempered by the loss of star all-rounder Jacob Oram with a broken finger.

The Kiwis produced a record-breaking performance on Friday and placed a huge question mark over the reigning world champions going into next month's World Cup.

It was Australia's heaviest one-day loss and the first time they have been beaten by 10 wickets in 646 one-day internationals.

They are also in danger of losing their second consecutive series after being beaten 2-0 by England in the finals of the recent tri-series in Australia.

New Zealand have called in specialist batsman Peter Fulton to replace the injured Oram, who will see a specialist tomorrow to determine the management of the injury.

"At this stage, we are confident he will travel to the World Cup," team manager Lyndsay Crocker said.

Oram fractured the finger when catching Mitchell Johnson late in Australia's meagre innings of 148.

New Zealand surpassed that total without loss in just 27 overs with Lou Vincent not out 73 and captain Stephen Fleming unbeaten on 70.

It was just New Zealand's third win in their past nine matches, a win-loss ratio that captain Fleming is acutely aware of.

"We're determined to break that -- we have a win and now we have to get another one," he said.

"We've been working hard to be more consistent but the proof of the pudding is on Sunday," Fleming said.

As much as New Zealand need a back-up win, Australia must reverse their form slump and both sides are desperate to avoid further injuries as they fine-tune for the World Cup.

Oram is the third casualty of the Chappell-Hadlee series. Australian fast bowler Brett Lee has gone home with an ankle injury and batsman Michael Clarke has been ruled out with a hip problem.

Although Australia has a makeshift look with five frontline players missing -- Ricky Ponting and Adam Gilchrist being rested and Lee, Clarke and Andrew Symonds injured -- the ease of the victory was unexpected.

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