Vettori hails magic Mills
Daniel Vettori has challenged New Zealand to clinch the ODI series against Australia with victory in Sydney on Sunday.
By Joe Drabble
Last Updated: 06/02/09 3:04pm
Victorious New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori has challenged his team to go on and clinch the Chappell-Hadlee series with two games to spare with victory in Sydney on Sunday.
The Black Caps powered into a 2-0 lead in the five-match one-day series after a superb team display saw the tourists clinch a six-wicket success over trans-Tasman rivals Australia in Melbourne.
All-rounder Grant Elliott was the cornerstone of the New Zealand run-chase - his measured unbeaten 61 guiding the tourists to a target of 226 with seven balls to spare.
And Vettori, who was at his metronomic best with figures of 0-35 from his 10 overs, cited his side's disciplined bowling and fielding display as the key to the victory.
"It was a great win, I think once again it was set-up by the way we bowled and fielded.
"Kyle Mills in these last two games has been outstanding and I think everyone followed his lead.
"We have had good plans for a long time but I think this is the first time we've actually stood up and executed them.
"I think we have had two wickets that have suited our style of bowling and because of that we have bowled exceptionally well.
"Tim Southee, Kyle Mills and Iain O'Brien were pretty good today and that allowed us to restrict them to 225, which was a little bit below-par."
Vettori also admitted his relief at no longer having to cope with the explosive hitting of left-hand openers Matthew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist at the top of the Australian batting order.
Both players are have now retired from international cricket and although the current crop of Australian batsmen have misfired of late, Vettori believes it is only a matter of time before they rediscover their form.
He said: "I always used to a play a series and if I didn't have to bowl to Adam Gilchrist I was pretty happy, so when he's not in the side it does make a bit of a difference.
"But I think everyone realises that there are some pretty good players at the top of that Australia order and it's just experience, getting use to the conditions and once they do that I think we will see the best of them."
Chasing 226 for victory, Brendon McCullum (43) got New Zealand off to a solid start at the top of the order, with Ross Taylor (47), Elliott and Neil Broom (26 not out) ensuring back-to-back victories for the tourists.
"Grant Elliott and Ross Taylor were fantastic, just setting it up slowly and to get it (the target) four down in quite emphatic fashion was really pleasing," said Vettori.
"Two guys Grant Elliott and Neil Broom have probably played 15 games between them - to do it so comfortably and with such maturity is a really good sign for New Zealand cricket.
Looking ahead to the third ODI in Sydney, Vettori said: "It's pretty exciting. The Chappell-Hadlee series means so much to our fans back home, any tran-Tasman series is so important to them so therefore it's really important to us and we want to take it away and win it in the next game."