Published: Mon, June 05, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Rain forces no result in Australia-New Zealand Champions Trophy opener


Later on, just at the stroke of lunch another spell of showers interrupted the match for the second time, which meant Australia's target was revised to 235 off 33 overs.

England, who won their Group A opener against Bangladesh, will now face both sides in the coming days from a position of strength.

Australia skipper Steve Smith has warned his players there's no room for error against Bangladesh on Monday (10:30pm AEST), in what's now a must-win Champions Trophy clash at The Oval.

The only Australian bowler to hold his head high was Josh Hazlewood who took career-best ODI bowling figures of 6-52 but he was again expensive early leaking 20 off his first two overs. But further rain during the mid-innings break left Australia with a tough new target under the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method for weather affected limited overs matches.

An early rain interruption halted progress as Australia and New Zealand began their Champions Trophy campaigns at Edgbaston.

Mother Nature gave the Australians a major wake up call against the Kiwis at Edgbaston, saving the Championship favourites from an embarrassing defeat.

The Blackcaps were on course for a score well above 300 while Williamson was at the crease during a well-judged inning of exactly 100.

That dismissal led to a stunning collapse as Williamson's side lost their last seven wickets for 37 runs in less than six overs as Hazlewood rampaged through the tail. And Hazlewood finished things quickly in his next over with three wickets in four balls, running through Milne, Mitchell Santner and Boult.

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Samardzija, a former football player at Notre Dame, was one of the first to arrive at the mound after both benches emptied. During Game 4, Harper stared down Strickland while round the bases as the Giants reliever had some choice words for him.

As captain Steven Smith had indicated on Thursday, Australia opted against fielding all four of their fast bowlers, with James Pattinson missing out. New Zealand were bowled out with still an over remaining in their innings.

But as it turned out, at least two of them would want to put the day behind them entirely. Ronchi had hit nine fours and three sixes when he departed in the 16th over.

Starc took the new ball as Guptill and Ronchi started the proceedings for New Zealand.

No team can afford to bow half-track rubbish to the likes of Martin Guptill, Luke Ronchi, Kane Williamson, and Ross Taylor, and not expect a hammering. With the ball there, they came and bowled aggressively. Starc's underarm throw and Matthew Wade's fumble saw them botch a certain run out with Ronchi stranded, then Starc dropped him at mid-on. New Zealand and Australia share a point apiece. "Although it is a little bit frustrating", he said.

Having fully recovered from a foot injury, the veteran player Starc will be the leader of the cricket match and when last time he led the match at 2006 and 2009 emerged as winners.

"We still had some batters in the shed who can certainly play when you need to be chasing a total like that", said Smith.

Kane Williamson of New Zealand acknowledges the crowds applause after reaching his century during the ICC Champions Trophy match against Australia.

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