Vettori rues another batting flop
Australia move 2-1 up with six-wicket win in Hamilton
Last Updated: 09/03/10 2:35pm
Vettori: batsmen failed again
New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori blamed another disappointing batting effort for his side's six-wicket defeat to Australia in the third match of the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy series.
The Black Caps were bowled out for 245 in 46.2 overs after being asked to bat first at Seddon Park, Hamilton.
Ross Taylor top scored with 62 but lacked support as Australia seamers Ryan Harris and Mitchell Johnson each claimed three wickets.
Scott Styris and Gareth Hopkins briefly rallied with a sixth-wicket alliance of 67 but Styris' dismissal was the start of a collapse that saw the last five wickets go down in as many overs.
Australia, led by Brad Haddin's 110, chased down their target with 16 deliveries to spare and now lead the five-match series 2-1.
"We put a bit too much pressure on ourselves with losing wickets and I suppose put too much pressure on Scott and Gareth to pick up the slack then be aggressive near the end," said Vettori.
"It was a total that was 40 or 50 runs short and we couldn't put any pressure on Australia because of it."
On the struggles of New Zealand's top order, Vettori added: "I suppose it's just taking ownership of your innings and realising that 20s and 30s and even 50s and 60s aren't good enough against Australia.
"You need guys to kick on. You need those big partnerships and you can't consistently lose wickets."
New Zealand's depleted bowling stocks took a further hit when Daryl Tuffey (calf) and James Franklin (hamstring) were ruled out, which meant a return for Michael Mason after almost two years in the international wilderness.
It proved to be a tough comeback with Haddin taking 20 runs of his very first over, although he responded well to claim Australia captain Ricky Ponting's wicket.
The workload was shared between Vettori, Styris, Tim Southee, Mason and part-timer Martin Guptill after pace spearhead Shane Bond left the field late in the match with a sore thumb sustained in a failed caught-and-bowled chance off Haddin early in his innings.
"It was one bowler too few but you still need guys to step up and bowl well," said Vettori.
"At times we did a really good job with the ball and at times we were poor.
"I was pleased with the way Michael Mason came back because it was a pretty tough start but he finished pretty well."
Ponting described his side's performance as their best of the series to date and it came after vice-captain Michael Clarke's sudden departure back to Australia for personal reasons the previous night.
"It was a very convincing win tonight. To take our power play as late as we did (40th over) and we really cantered across the line from about 30 overs onwards. We did it pretty easy," said Ponting.
"We've been looking for this performance the entire series and we've played our best game to date. The momentum, if there is any to be taken out of this game, is obviously with us.
"If we start strongly on Thursday (fourth ODI in Auckland) hopefully the momentum continues for us there."
Haddin's innings was the backbone of the victory and came after Ponting had asked for his top order to produce a big score after they failed to kick on from good starts in the two previous matches.
"It's what we've been asking our top order to deliver. I said to the boys this morning I know that if someone in our top order gets 80 plus or 100 that we're going to get well over 300 every time we bat with the nature of these grounds over here.
"Luckily we were chasing 240. Our bowlers did a great job there taking wickets consistently through the New Zealand batting innings.
"It was a more commanding performance and Brad's obviously played a massive role in us winning tonight."