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Black Caps survive Stoinis heroics to win

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 29/01/2017 Angelo Risso

The Black Caps were coasting to victory in their opening Chappell-Hadlee ODI against Australia at Eden Park.

But then Marcus Stoinis came out to play.

An extraordinary unbeaten innings of 146 after his three-wicket haul ultimately wasn't enough as the Kiwis scarped home by six runs on Monday.

Setting the visitors a healthy total of 287 for victory, the Black Caps cleaned up Australia's specialist batsmen early on, leaving them teetering at 67-6.

Yet they simply couldn't close out the match, with 27-year-old allrounder Stoinis thrashing a maiden ODI century batting at No.7 as the Australian tail wagged as enthusiastically as a labrador waiting for dinner.

With last man Josh Hazlewood shielded from the strike for four overs, the West Australian hit 11 sixes and nine boundaries on his way to 146 not out from just 117 balls.

But within sight of a stunning victory, Hazlewood was run out by Kane Williamson while attempting to avoid strike to allow New Zealand to let out collective sigh on the field and in the stands.

"Guys were just getting deposited over the fence at will, he was just looking straight, not trying to drag anything, focusing on the short boundaries," batsman Neil Broom said.

"When a guy's going like that, he can pull anything off, he can chase down whatever, so it just looked like it was going to be his day."

The 33-year-old Broom played his own part in the home side's win, partnering with Jimmy Neesham to stave off a Kiwi middle-order collapse.

A solid 74-run second-wicket stand between Williamson and opener Martin Guptill, who notched 61, had put the Kiwis into a commanding position at 128-2.

But Ross Taylor the departed, followed by Guptill and Colin Munro in quick succession, left the Black Caps on the precipice at 134-5.

Neesham and Broom reasserted control with a squad-settling 76-run partnership.

Broom provided the platform for the big-hitting Neesham to score six fours on his way to 48, before upping the ante on his way to 73.

"To go out there and not really hit it as well as I'd like to but to sort of get the job done, to get 70-odd, was pleasing," Broom said.

The Black Caps looked in control against an under-strength Australian batting line-up after reducing the visitors to 18-3.

Shaun Marsh and Glenn Maxwell added a stand of 30 but they were 67-6 inside the 19 overs and seeming out of contention.

Yet Stoinis steadied the ship with useful cameos from James Faulkner and Pat Cummins, before ultimately blasting six after six to get them on the verge of an improbable win.

Coming off to a standing ovation from a hostile Kiwi crowd, Stoinis said his experience at the crease was a bittersweet one.

It was just his second appearance in the green and gold.

"I'm happy to an extent, but it's probably not what I imagined," he said.

"To walk off at the end to something like that, that's something you remember forever."

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