Australia’s win over New Zealand failed to live up to the hype as a contest with the Kiwis batting succumbing to Mitchell Starc’s pace bowling, falling short by 86 runs while chasing a modest target of 243.
The Kiwis won’t remember this game too fondly apart from two moments – Trent Boult’s hat-trick and Martin Guptill’s brilliant one-handed catch.
While Starc’s match-winning performance overshadowed Boult’s late hat-trick, Steve Smith matched Guptill’s fielding effort with a breathtaking catch off his own.
Tom Latham who was looking to rebuild the New Zealand innings flicked a Starc delivery towards the mid-wicket region. He seemed to have placed his shot in the gap before in came Smith diving to his right and plucking the ball out of thin air. That effort from the former Australian skipper would have flattened any hope New Zealand had of chasing the Australian total.
Smith may have got the inspiration from Guptill who played a big part in his dismissal. Attempting a pull of Lockie Ferguson, Smith smashed the ball fine, but found Guptill who reacted in no time to take the catch with his outstretched left hand. Smith was left in disbelief as the Australian top order was blown away early. Fortunately for the defending champions Usman Khawaja and Alex Carey stuck to their guns taking Australia to a respectable total of 243/9.
This game may not be remembered come the end of the tournament, but it will certainly be revisited over the years for these two fabulous catches.