London, June 29 Australia have already secured a place in the semifinals with 12 points. New Zealand’s Trent Boult claimed a hat-trick in the final over but Usman Khawaja and Alex Carey forged a century-plus stand to help Australia post a competitive 243-9 in their Cricket World Cup group match on Saturday as New Zealand slump to 157/10 .
Pacers Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson and James Neesham reduced Australia to 92/5 in 22 overs before Carey and Khawaja resurrected the innings.
The innings ended with a hat-trick from Boult, his second in ODIs and the first in World Cup. He also became the first New Zealander to take a World Cup hat-trick.
Australia skipper Aaron Finch won the toss and chose to bat first. His opposite number Kane Williamson admitted that he would have batted first too as the Kiwis brought in spinner Ish Sodhi in place of pacer Matt Henry.
But the innings went awry for the Australians, who have already qualified for the semifinals. Finch was dismissed by Boult in the fifth over after which Ferguson got David Warner in the 10th. In his next over, Ferguson dismissed Steve Smith. Neesham then joined the party, dismissing Marcus Stoinis and Glenn Maxwell in quick succession.
However, Carey countered after that with Khawaja holding up one end. Carey smashed 11 fours as he scored 71 off 72 deliveries and his stand with Khawaja took Australia one run short of the 200-run mark.
With the wicket starting to give more purchase to the spinners, Williamson brought himself into the attack and the move paid dividends. Carey tried to clear the cover boundary but ended up hitting the ball straight to Guptill off Williamson.
Khawaja (88; 129 balls, 4×5) continued to ring runs out of the final overs before falling to Boult in the final over of the innings. The left-arm seamer then dismissed Mitchell Starc and Jason Behrendorff off back-to-back deliveries to claim his hat-trick.
Brief scores: Australia: 243/9 in 50 overs (Usman Khawaja 88, Alex Carey 71; Trent Boult 4/51, James Neesham 2/28) vs New Zealand