Australia lose again
New Zealand win by six wickets in Melbourne to open 2-0 lead
Last Updated: 06/02/09 3:12pm
Elliott: second ODI half-century sealed New Zealand's win
Australia 225-5 (M J Clarke 98, M E K Hussey 75) v New Zealand 226-4 (G D Elliott 61 no)
New Zealand beat Australia by 6 wkts
New Zealand chased down a target of 226 to claim a six-wicket victory over Australia in the second one-day international.
Grant Elliott's 61 not out guided the Black Caps home with seven balls to spare in Melbourne, a result that gives the tourists a 2-0 lead in the five-match Chappell-Hadlee series.
Australia, the world champions, are now approaching crisis point having lost their last five one-dayers, all on home soil.
Michael Clarke, leading the home side in place of the rested Ricky Ponting, made 98 but Australia only managed 225-5 after being asked to bat.
Clarke's opening partner David Warner (2) holed out to mid-off in the third over, bowled by the impressive Kyle Mills (1-37), to set the tone for a below-par effort.
Runs proved hard to come by against a disciplined Kiwi bowling attack. Brad Haddin, promoted to number three in Ponting's absence, was caught behind off Tim Southee (1-57) for 12 and when David Hussey was run out for 10, Australia found themselves struggling at 63-3 in the 18th over.
Clarke and Mike Hussey shared a 133-run stand for the fourth wicket to ensure their side at least got past the 200 mark.
Both fell to medium pacer Iain O'Brien (2-48) in the closing overs - Hussey caught at midwicket for 75 and Clarke bowled via his pad two short of a century.
New Zealand's top order also found it difficult to score quickly, usually destructive opener Brendon McCullum instead took a cautious approach with 43 from 75 balls.
McCullum's opening partner Martin Guptill and number three Peter Fulton both failed to impress - Guptill (8) was caught at slip off left-arm seamer Nathan Brackan (1-34) and Fulton (21) edged behind off James Hopes' (2-30) medium pace to leave the Kiwis at 62-2 in the 16th over.
Ross Taylor ensured there was no collapse, sharing stands worth 42 with McCullum and 72 with Elliott for the third and fourth wickets respectively.
Taylor's departure, caught behind for 47 attempting a wild swipe at Mitchell Johnson's (1-43) bowling, left the game back in the balance with New Zealand on 176-4 in the 42nd over.
But Elliott and Neil Broom (26no) combined for an unbroken 50-run alliance off just 44 balls to see the tourists to victory.
The Black Caps have the opportunity to clinch the series in Sydney on Sunday.