Australia beat New Zealand by 86 runs in the Cricket World Cup at Lord’s on Saturday to stretch their lead at the top of the table.
Aaron Finch’s side, who have now won seven out of their eight matches and have already qualified for the semi-finals, scored 243/9 in their 50 overs and New Zealand were bowled out for 157 in reply.
New Zealand, third in the 10-team table with one match to go, have still not secured their place in the knockout phase.
Australia pacer Mitchell Starc created history by becoming the first bowler to register three five-wicket hauls at the World Cup. His fiery spell included the all-important wicket of Kane Williamson.
Fellow left-armer Jason Behrendorff carried on from where he left off at Lord’s against England by removing both New Zealand openers in a World Cup match on Saturday.
Behrendorff took a career-best 5/44 as reigning champions Australia beat England by 64 runs at the London ground on Tuesday. And the 29-year-old left-arm quick was in the wickets again. Behrendorff had the unlucky Henry Nicholls, selected in place of dropped opener Colin Munro, caught behind down the legside for eight and then had Martin Guptill lbw for 20.
But Australia missed a chance to dismiss New Zealand captain and star batsman Kane Williamson for just 11 when slip Steve Smith could not hold a rebound from wicketkeeper Alex Carey’s leg following an edge off spinner Nathan Lyon.
Williamson was eventually dismissed for 40, caught by Carey off the bowling of Starc. The tournament’s leading wicket-taker then went on to clean up the middle and lower order with his sheer pace, taking his tally up to 24.
Earlier, Usman Khawaja anchored Australia’s recovery following a top-order collapse with a composed 88 to take the score to 243-9 before becoming a victim of Trent Boult as the New Zealander completed a hat-trick.
Australia, who beat New Zealand in the 2015 final, slumped to 92-5 before Khawaja and Carey (71) revived the innings with a stand of 107 to give their powerful attack a defendable total on a used pitch proving difficult for batsmen.
Khawaja was bowled in the final over by left-arm quick Boult to end a 129-ball innings featuring just five fours.
Boult then bowled Starc and dismissed Behrendorff lbw with a yorker, although his hat-trick celebrations were delayed by a desperate review.
It was the first hat-trick by a New Zealander at a World Cup and the second of the tournament after India’s Mohammed Shami achieved the feat against Afghanistan.
Boult finished with 4-51 at a sun-drenched Lord’s after he had earlier removed Australia captain Aaron Finch, who won the toss.
Australia’s first-wicket pair have been central to their success at this World Cup, with Finch and David Warner having scored 657 runs together in eight matches, including Saturday’s fixture, at an average of 82.12.
- Finch, Warner fail -
But it was a different story against the Black Caps, with both Finch (8) and Warner (16) dismissed cheaply.
Smith fell for five after Martin Guptill held a sensational diving catch off the bowling of Lockie Ferguson.
Warner and Smith were booed on and off the field following their recent return to international cricket after they were both banned for 12 months for their roles in a ball-tampering scandal.
Jimmy Neesham then struck twice to reduce Australia to 92-5.
The collapse allowed Khawaja to bat in his usual style without fear of being criticised for slow scoring.
Fellow left-hander Carey added impetus, hitting 11 fours in 72 balls before he holed out off Williamson’s occasional off-spin.
Carey was adjudged player of the match.