Australia vs New Zealand, 3rd ODI: Steve Smith Stars With Ton As Australia Beat New Zealand In Finch’s ODI Swansong

A Century of Steve Smith helped retiring Australian skipper Aaron Finch give a winning farewell on Sunday with a 25-run victory in the final one-day international against New Zealand in Cairns. The Blacks Caps chased the home team’s 267-5, built on Smith’s masterful 105, and all went out for 242 in the last over, with Mitchell Starc taking 3-60. It ended a disappointing Chappell-Hadlee series for the visitors. Australia won the opening match by two wickets before a 113-run thrashing of the Black Caps in the second.

“For us to get to 260 after probably our slowest start ever was just amazing,” said Finch, who was out five in his 146th and final ODI. “Our bowling has been good, everyone contributed.

“It was a fun ride, I enjoyed it,” he added of his ODI career.

New Zealand started the chase confidently and raced to 49 before Sean Abbott tricked Devon Conway (21) into a drive that caught Smith.

Cameron Green was good for opener Finn Allen after a windy 35, caught low by Josh Hazlewood, leaving them 57-2 in the 12th left.

Some unplayable bowling starved New Zealand of runs with Alex Carey punching Tom Latham for 10 on Adam Zampa’s spin and Smith taking a comfortable catch to clear Daryl Mitchell (16) from Hazlewood.

When skipper Kane Williamson was knocked out for 27 after a comedic mix with Glenn Phillips, they ran into trouble at 112-5.

But a 61-run partnership between Phillips and Jimmy Neesham (36) and a 51-run tie with Mitchell Santner left them needing 46 from the last five overs and in the hunt.

Phillip’s departure for 47 and Santner for 30 in the space of six balls, both caught near the boundary, ended any chance they had.

“Performance has improved a bit, but Australia has really shown their quality again,” Williamson said.

“We have to learn to adapt to the conditions faster and try to put pressure on the teams when we can.”

Standing ovation

Williamson won the toss and sent Australia in, and after a minute’s silence on the occasion of Queen Elizabeth II’s death, Finch was given a guard of honor as he made his way to the crease.

He survived a big cry for lbw on one but didn’t last long, bowled by Tim Southee as he attempted a drive from the 13th ball he encountered, walking away to a standing ovation.

It ended a career in which he made 5,406 runs at 38.89, hitting 17 centuries to leave him alone with Ricky Ponting (29), David Warner and Mark Waugh (both 18) in the Australian pecking order.

Finch will be in charge of the Twenty20 side at home for the World Cup next month.

His longtime opening partner Warner was reassured with Josh Inglis getting an opportunity he didn’t grab, caught behind Trent Boult for 10.

It left Australia at 16-2 with a nervous Smith and Marnus Labuschagne facing 22 dot balls as they struggled to settle.

But they persevered and built a crucial 118-run partnership before Labuschagne misdirected a pull-shot and was out for 52, caught by Neesham at Boult.

promoted

Undeterred, Smith drove to his 12th ODI century with 127 balls, hitting 10 fours and a six before being bowled by Santner. Alex Carey added a composed undefeated 42.

(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and was generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)

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