29 Oct 2023

Black Caps fall five runs short in massive run chase

9:33 am on 29 October 2023
New Zealand's James Neesham plays a shot during the 2023 ICC Men's Cricket World Cup one-day international (ODI) match between Australia and New Zealand at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium in Dharamsala on October 28, 2023. (Photo by Money SHARMA / AFP) / -- IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE --


The Black Caps have fallen agonisingly short of pulling off a massive run chase against Australia at the Cricket World Cup.

Chasing an imposing 389 to win, New Zealand fell just five runs short, with Rachin Ravindra top scoring with 116 off 89 balls in Dharamashala.

Jimmy Neesham who blasted 58 from 39 balls said he was waiting for the right ball to hit the winning runs.

"I timed a couple all right and then didn't quite get the ball in the slot I was looking for in the last over," Neesham said.

"The way we stuck at it, how close we got, I think chasing a total like that it's pretty easy to get bundled out for 250 or 260.

"Obviously we were disappointed to fall short but it certainly doesn't rule us out of the rest of the tournament."

Meanwhile Travis Head's return to action proved worth the wait for Australia as the opener smashed a blazing hundred in the high-scoring thriller.

The left-hander missed Australia's first five matches in the tournament with a broken hand that delayed his arrival in India for the showpiece event.

He made up for lost time with a 59-ball century and forged a breakneck 175-run opening stand with David Warner to set Australia on their way to an imposing total of 388.

The impact of his return could be gauged from the fact that Australia plundered 118 in the best Powerplay of the tournament so far.

Mitchell Marsh dropped down to number three to clear the opener's slot for the returning Head, who slotted back in at the top effortlessly.

The 29-year-old Head was ruthless but did give away some chances that New Zealand failed to capitalise on as they were unusually sloppy in the field.

He got a friendly welcome too with Matt Henry bowling back-to-back no-balls in the third over of the day. Head smashed both of the resulting free-hit deliveries for six.

Head raced to a 25-ball fifty and got a couple of reprieves afterwards en route to a blistering hundred.

Mitchell Santner floored a return catch when the batter was on 70 and Glenn Phillips grassed an easier catch at mid-wicket off Rachin Ravindra when on 76.

Glenn Phillips eventually got the better of him when the part-time spinner disturbed Head's stumps with a skidding delivery.

New Zealand are third on the table with four wins and two losses, just ahead of Australia on run rate.

- Reuters