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Australia v New Zealand
MELBOURNE CRICKET GROUND, DECEMBER 9, 2016
3rd ODI - AUS v NZL
|Australia 1st Inn||8/264|
|New Zealand 1st Inn||147 All Out|
|Australia won the toss and elected to bat|
|Australia won by 117 runs|
|New Zealand||Over:36.1 RR:4.06|
|. . 1 . . . |||. . . 1 . 1 |||. ||
|Last Wicket:||Boult, TA, 1 (c:Smith b:Cummins)|
|Current Partnership:||4 runs, 15 balls, RR:26.67|
Having won the first two games of the series, Australia find themselves heading to Melbourne enthused by the prospect of a Chappell-Hadlee Trophy whitewash over New Zealand. Join The Roar from 2:20pm (AEDT) for our live scores and coverage of the match.
The last ODI the two sides played at the MCG was for rather higher stakes. That was just over a year and a half ago in the World Cup final. Now, with the series wrapped up, the two sides are playing for pride.
Australia have certainly earned their 2-0 lead in the series, winning the first two games of the series by the considerable margins of 68 and 118 runs.
Despite this, New Zealand will likely feel they had their chances in both games.
In Sydney they started the series brilliantly, pushing Australia to the verge of a collapse at 4/92. Even after Steve Smith resurrected the innings and led Australia to a total of 324, New Zealand still managed to find themselves in a strong position as a rampant Martin Guptill got his side quickly to 2/126.
Similarly, in the batting paradise that is Manuka Oval, New Zealand seemed to be keeping themselves in the game despite a 145-run partnership between David Warner and Smith.
However, they then faltered with their death bowling and conceded 126 runs off the last ten overs of the innings, leaving themselves having to chase 378.
For Australia, the series has been particularly reassuring as these were the sort of situations they were losing in South Africa when they were whitewashed 5-0.
While Warner and Smith have had the greatest influence on the first two games, Australia will be very encouraged by the way some of their more inexperienced players have fared.
Travis Head, in particular, has impressed with two half-centuries in two contrasting situations, while Mitchell Marsh’s 40-ball 76 at Manuka will also have delighted the selectors.
Similarly reassuring is that Australia have not been reliant on Mitchell Starc with the ball, as Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood are leading the wickets for the series with six and five scalps respectively.
New Zealand, meanwhile, seem to be missing the likes of Corey Anderson and Ross Taylor, who have both been unavailable through injury.
They have subsequently been too reliant on the likes of Kane Williamson and Martin Guptill, with James Neesham being the only other player to really impress with bat or ball.
This is not down to a lack of talent. The likes of Colin de Grandhomme, Colin Munro and even Todd Astle, who may make his debut today, are all players who can be incredibly destructive at their best. Yet they have only shown glimpses of their ability in this series.
If this changes in Melbourne, New Zealand may be able to end the series in a similar way to what Australia did in the Tests against South Africa, with a feeling of positivity dampening the disappointment.
If these players don’t stand up, a whitewash seems very likely.
Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the third ODI between Australia and New Zealand from 2:20pm (AEDT).