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.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday said that he had called in the “third umpire” as he announced that recreational cricket would be allowed to resume next weekend. In a radio interview earlier on Friday, Johnson angered thousands of club cricketers by saying that the amateur game was still not safe to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic because of issues surrounding communal teas and dressing rooms. “It’s the teas, it’s the changing rooms and so on and so forth. There are other factors involved that generate proximity which you might not get in a game of tennis,” he said. Johnson had already
Hong Kong media reported that police briefly detained a man in a Liverpool team jersey who shouted “long live Liverpool” during anti-government protests on Wednesday, over suspicion that he was inciting independence. In-Media reported that the man was across the street from police officers who were conducting stop-and-searches on a group of protesters, when he shouted: “Long live Liverpool.” Others reportedly cheered and joined in the chant, before officers detained him. The man told In-Media that police had accused him of inciting Hong Kong independence, which now is a punishable crime. He said that he has been a fan of the English soccer
Indian police are investigating an alleged betting scandal in which a sham cricket tournament was held in an Indian village and passed off as a Twenty20 contest played in Sri Lanka. Players portrayed as Sri Lankan cricketers played two matches on Monday last week that were broadcast with live commentary on YouTube, media reports said, along with ball-by-ball coverage on top Indian sports Web sites. The organizers hung Sri Lankan advertisements at the ground for added authenticity and put up tents to block the view from outside the remote rural venue, set in farmland next to a busy highway. Police said that they
Raptors guard Fred VanVleet is already in Florida with the rest of his Toronto teammates, and he knows the time to take a stand and counter the NBA plan to restart the season has passed, but his opinion on the matter has not changed. “It sucks,” VanVleet said on Monday in a videoconference of his choice to return to the court during the COVID-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter campaign. “It’s terrible timing, but that’s been 2020 for us. We all know the right thing to do is to not play, to take a stand. Morally, yes, that makes sense, but