Australia retain Chappell/Hadlee trophy

Australia have won the National Bank Chappell/Hadlee series 3-1 with a match to spare after their six wicket win over the BLACKCAPS at Eden Park in Auckland.

The BLACKCAPS were bundled out for 238 off 44.1 overs after being put into bat by Ricky Ponting who won his fourth toss in a row. 

Australia were set a reduced target of 206 in 36 overs after the rain came during the innings break causing a 90 minute delay and they reached the target with just under three overs to spare.

The BLACKCAPS defence of the small target started positively with Shane Bond hurling down a series of unplayable deliveries and snaring the wicket of in form Australian opener Brad Haddin for a duck in his first over.

Shane Watson and Ricky Ponting were happy to see Bond off but then unleashed when Daryl Tuffey and Tim Southee bowled in tandem.

It was Daniel Vettori who got his team back into the game, trapping Watson in front for 32 before dismissing Ponting the same way.

The Australian captain was lucky to survive a confident LBW shout by Tuffey early in his innings and made the most of his second life, blasting 50 off just 35 deliveries.

The experienced duo of Vettori and Bond continued to bowl tightly but the weren't backed up with plenty of runs leaked from the other end. 

A mature half century from Cameron White guided them home, along with 28 from classy finisher Michael Hussey.

The best of the bowling attack were Vettori who finished with two for 29 and Bond who took one for 28.

Earlier, Brendon McCullum and Martin Guptill got the home side off to a bright start, taking 50 runs off the first six overs but it was short lived as Guptill went for 30 off 22 deliveries.

A period of consolidation followed with McCullum and Ross Taylor taking the score through to 120 but when Taylor went for 15 the wheels fell off with the BLACKCAPS losing their six wickets for just 57 runs.

Debutant Shanan Stewart holed out for four before the BLACKCAPS best batsmen, McCullum, went for 61.  Scott Styris (8), Vettori (12) and Franklin (10) were the batsmen to fall in quick succession.

A brief fight back from Gareth Hopkins and Tuffey pushed the total past 200 but with the departure of Hopkins for 20 any hope of a competitive total diminished.

Some lusty blows from Tuffey gave the innings some spark towards the end with the big fast bowler blasting three consecutive sixes off spinner Nathan Hauritz.  He finished with the BLACKCAPS second highest score, hitting 34 off 17 deliveries.  Bond also managed to get a couple away, registering 19, before he was the final wicket to fall.

Again, the run rate was excellent but the consistent loss of wickets hurt the BLACKCAPS. 

Spinner Hauritz was the outstanding for Australia, despite some late punishment from Tuffey.  The young spinner took three for 46 with Mitchell Johnson, James Hopes and Shane Watson chipping in with two apiece.

The BLACKCAPS will be playing for pride in the fifth and final One-Day International at Westpac Stadium in Wellington on Saturday.

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