|Ricky Ponting poses with the Chappell-Hadlee
Ricky Ponting made an unbeaten 134 as Australia crushed New Zealand by 114 runs in the third and final limited overs cricket international to regain the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy.
Ponting’s 25th century in one-day internationals guided Australia to 282 for six wickets, batting first after New Zealand won the toss, and Brett Lee and Brad Hogg then shared six wickets as New Zealand was dismissed for 168 in 34 overs in reply.
Australia took the three-match series 2-0, convincingly winning the first and third matches while the second, in Sydney, was lost to rain.
Its series victory avenged New Zealand’s 3-0 win in the series in New Zealand earlier this year.
Ponting scored centuries in both completed matches and was named man of the match Thursday and man of the series.
His hundred, a day after his 33rd birthday, was his first in a one-day international in his home state of Tasmania and put Australia in an unassailable position.
Ponting took his 134 runs from 133 balls with 10 fours and two sixes but showed his mastery of the limited overs game by seeding his knock with 60 singles, keeping Australia’s run-rate up through the middle of its innings.
He received support from Andrew Symonds who made 52 from 63 balls and shared a 114-run partnership for the fourth wicket, and later from Brad Haddin (26 from 25 balls) and James Hopes (20 from 17).
“It’s been a great couple of weeks,” Ponting said.
“I had a bit of a rest before this series which freshened me up a bit. I felt I played OK and the team played quite well.”
New Zealand was quickly in trouble in the run chase, struggling to score again the pace of Lee, Nathan Bracken and Shaun Tait and later the spin of Hogg.
The Kiwis had lost both openers, Jamie How and Brendon McCullum, with only eight runs on the board and slipped to 72 for five by the 18th over, when the game was effectively over.
Captain Daniel Vettori and newcomer Gareth Hopkins were both out with the total at 88 and New Zealand only avoided humiliation thanks to veteran Scott Styris’ 75.
“Ricky (Ponting) was just outstanding,” Vettori said.
“He played two superior innings and took the game beyond us both times.”
New Zealand returns to New Zealand for a series of one-day internationals against Bangladesh starting on December 26 while Australia meets India in the first of four test matches on the same day.