Australia Continues Their Loosing Habit

New Zealand 8 for 182 (Taylor 64, Bracken 3-38) beat Australia 181 (Hussey 49, Mills 4-35) by 2 wickets

Ross Taylor was New Zealand's hero as they won the first game of their one-day international series against Australia in Perth by two wickets on Sunday.

Kyle Mills took 4 for 35 as Ricky Ponting's side were bowled out for 181.

The Kiwis were reduced to 25 for 3 but Taylor then took charge, until he was superbly caught by Michael Clarke for 64 with 12 still needed off 15 balls.

Nathan Bracken bowled Tim Southee in the last over, but Daniel Vettori saw his side home off the final delivery.

Jeetan Patel had levelled the scores with a single off the fifth ball of the over, and Vettori won it in style with a four through point.

Having just gone down 4-1 to South Africa, it was the first time Australia had suffered four consecutive ODI defeats since they lost five on the bounce against New Zealand and England in February 2007.

Ponting must have questioned his decision to bat first on winning the toss after his side found themselves 54-5 in the 20th over.

Mills removed openers Shaun Marsh and David Warner, both to catches by the tall Peter Fulton at short cover, while some sparkling Kiwi fielding by rookies Neil Broom and Martin Guptill saw both Ponting and Clarke run out.

And when David Hussey was caught down the leg side by wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum off Patel's first ball, the home side were in serious trouble.

Mike Hussey (49) and Brad Haddin (31) were able to stage a partial recovery, while skipper Vettori was the model of economy -- his 10 overs of left-arm spin yielding just 22 runs.

Iain O'Brien grabbed two wickets, while the returning Mills took two more as the Australians were eventually skittled out with eight balls of the innings remaining.

But if Ponting's batsmen had failed to set a challenging target, his bowlers gave them a good start and kept them in contention throughout the innings.

McCullum, passed fit to play and keep wicket despite a hip injury, was trapped lbw by Shaun Tait off the second ball of the innings, while Guptill and Fulton fell soon after each other as Bracken and Mitchell Johnson turned the screw with a succession of maiden overs.

Taylor, though, was able to forge his side back into contention, and although he lost Grant Elliott cheaply, he added 42 with Broom (29) and 62 with Mills (26), whose all-round efforts earned him the man-of-the-match award.

The next match takes place in Melbourne on Friday.

Match Trivia

Toss Australia, who chose to bat first

Series New Zealand led the 5-match series 1-0

Player of the match KD Mills (New Zealand)

Umpires Bucknor (West Indies) and BNJ Oxenford

TV umpire PR Reiffel

Match referee RS Mahanama (Sri Lanka)


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