Elliott Steers New Zealand To 2-0 Series Lead

New Zealand 226-4 (Elliott 61no, Taylor 47) beat
225-5 (Clarke 98, M Hussey 75) by six wickets
| First innings
2nd One Day International, Melbourne

Grant Elliot held his nerve to guide New Zealand to a six-wicket win over Australia in the second One Day International in Melbourne to put the Black Caps 2-0 up with three matches to play, inflicting a fifth straight loss on Australia.

Michael Clarke and Mike Hussey scored half-centuries as Australia posted 225 for five before Elliott's unbeaten 61 saw New Zealand home with an over to spare.

Clarke, captaining the side and opening the batting, fell in the 48th over for 98 when he was bowled by Iain O'Brien.

He shared a stand worth 133 with Hussey, who made 75 in 94 balls after David Warner (2), Brad Haddin (12) and David Hussey (10) fell cheaply to leave the home side on 63 for three.

However, although Clarke and Hussey had done a fine job in stabilising the innings, Australia were unable to kick on in the later stages, losing the wickets of Clarke and Hussey, both to O'Brien, who finished with two for 48.

Cameron White hit an unbeaten 17 in 14 balls while debutant Callum Ferguson was not out on six.

Kyle Mills and Tim Southee grabbed a wicket apiece.

New Zealand lost Martin Guptill (8) early but rebuilt the innings with Brendon McCullum hitting 43 and Peter Fulton a swift 21 before James Hopes, who bowled beautifully for his two for 21, had both dismissed to leave Ross Taylor (47) and Elliott at the crease.

Taylor, dropped in the deep by Mike Hussey, hit three fours before edging Mitchell Johnson to Brad Haddin just after New Zealand took the batting Power Play but after his dismissal, Elliott took on the leading role, passing his half-century as he and Neil Broom (21 not out) used the fielding restrictions well to keep the required run rate below a run a ball.

Some bold hitting from Broom, showing no sign of nerves in a testing situation set Elliott up to win the match by pulling Ben Hilfenhaus for a boundary backward of square in fine style.

New Zealand won by two wickets in Perth.

© Cricket World 2009