Australia 168-4 (Haddin 88no, Ferguson 55no) v
New Zealand 123-6 (Guptill 64no, Siddle 1-13)
By Graham Wilson
Fifth One Day International, Brisbane - no result
Heavy rain at the Gabba in Brisbane denied Australia and New Zealand the chance to play the deciding fifth One Day International to a conclusion, meaning Australia retain the Chappell-Hadleee Trophy with a 2-2 series result.
The match was intriguingly poised - Brad Haddin hammered New Zealand for 88 in 65 balls as Australia made 168 for four in 22 overs before New Zealand, chasing 156 to win in 20 overs, made good heaway to get to 123 for six, in 14 overs when the torrential rain returned.
New Zealand won the toss and chose to bowl, getting early success with the wickets of James Hopes (5), Ricky Ponting (2), David Hussey (6) and Mike Hussey (9) before Haddin and Callum Ferguson stepped on the accelerator after coming together with Australia on 70 for four.
They took full advantage of the batting Power Play, 30 runs coming from two overs, with both men peppering the straight boundaries in particular. Ferguson, who could have been run out on two, offered Dan Vettori a sharp chance on 42 and after it wasn't held, he smashed Iain O'Brien over Vettori's head for another boundary.
He completed a maiden ODI half-century in the 21st over having faced just 33 balls and Haddin followed up with a massive straight six off of Tim Southee.
Haddin closed the innings in emphatic style, chipping O'Brien over his shoulder and launching another huge straight six, finishing on 88 with Ferguson unbeaten on 55 at the other end.
Brendon McCullum was bowled second ball by a Ben Hilfenhaus outswinger but Peter Fulton (22) stepped up by hitting two sixes over midwicket, making it look embarrassingly easy.
Martin Guptill joined in the fun but New Zealand then lost a flurry of wickets with Guptill stuck at the other end. The dismissals of Ross Taylor (4), Grant Elliot (0), Neil Broom (0) and Kyle Mills (1) put Australia in charge but just as Australia hit back after losing middle-order wickets, so did New Zealand with Brendon Diamanti offering Guptill brilliant support.
Guptill, who played some superb horizontal bat shots, was unbeaten on 64 in 34 balls having struck five fours and three sixes while Diamanti looked assured on his first start, closing unbeaten on 26 from 22 balls.
Michael Clarke was ruled out though injury and Australia handed a debut to Peter Siddle while New Zealand gave Diamanti a debut with Craig Cumming missing out.
© Cricket World 2009