Welcome to our coverage of the Cricket World Cup match between Australia and New Zealand, live from Lord’s.
For Australia the match is a chance to cement their spot at the top of the ladder, while a win for New Zealand would guarantee them a semi-final berth and heap even more pressure on underperforming England.
Aussie quicks sensational strike back
Jason Behrendorff has struck again for Australia, taking the first wicket with a feather edge down the leg side.
After a slow start from the Kiwis, the wicket give Australia a huge bonus in the 10th over.
He then got Martin Guptill with a LBW decision on a ball that would have clipped leg stump.
The first two wickets started the brilliant fightback from the Aussies with plenty of heat being thrown down.
While Behrendorff has the wickets, Mitchell Starc was throwing down thunderbolts in his first spell, hitting a high of 153km/h.
New Zealand are struggling to get the Aussies away at 2/46 off the first 15 overs.
But the last ball of the Nathan Lyon over was dropped at first slip by Steve Smith in a flying chance.
Kiwi killer crushes Aussie hopes
Australia was headed for an almost inconcievable 250 score but New Zealand’s Trent Boult has pulled off a hat-trick stunner to restrict Australia in the final over.
Boult bowled both Usman Khawaja and Mitchell Starc before trapping Jason Behrendorff LBW with a full toss.
It’s the first New Zealand hat-trick in a World Cup match.
Australia finished with 9/243 but Boult could have had four in four balls with Nathan Lyon going for a ramp shot off the final delivery but the ball was missing the stumps.
Carey departs for 71
Alex Carey has played one shot too many, falling for a run a ball 71 which has given Australia hope of launching in the final overs.
Part-time spinner Kane Williamson has made the breakthrough with Carey pushing the ball to cover.
Aussie misfits launch salvage mission
Australia were in trouble and Usman Khawaja and Alex Carey have come to the rescue.
Khawaja, who has been much maligned for his role in the Australian side, withstood the New Zealand onslaught as wickets tumbled around him to bring up his 50.
Carey, who nabbed the Australian wicketkeeping role ahead of Peter Handscomb before the tournament began, continued his lower order hitting, moving to 53 off 49 overs by the 37th over.
An unbeaten 80 run partnership has almost doubled the scored from 5/92 when Glenn Maxwell departed.
It was Carey’s second fifty of the tournament with World Cup winning captain Steve Waugh comparing him to a pair of Aussie greats.
“Another to impress has been Alex Carey who is a hybrid of Michael Hussey and Michael Bevan,” Waugh said.
Aussie hole deepens
The hole Australia find themselves in has just got deeper with Marcus Stoinis getting out for 21 off 26 balls as Australia go 4/81 after 20 overs.
A feather edge gave Jimmy Neesham his first of the day with Australia are in deeper trouble.
But it’s not the first time Australia have been in this position after losing early wickets against the West Indies before bouncing back to hit a competitive and match winning score on the back of Nathan Coulter-Nile heroics.
But the hero won’t be Glenn Maxwell as Neesham had his man with a great caught and bowled to leave Australia five down.
‘Absolute stunner’ leaves Aussies reeling
Martin Guptill has dropped two catches so far today but he wasn’t about to let it be three, pulling in an absolute classic to dismiss Steve Smith.
It gave Lockie Ferguson his second wicket as he caught a full blooded hook to leave the Aussie three down after the rare early dismissals of both Aussie openers.
The world immediately lost it for the classic moment.
It comes after Ben Stokes’ catch in the opening game of the tournament and Sheldon Cottrell’s belter against Australia.
Horror start in first ball disaster
Australia’s openers are both back in the pavillion — and it’s the 10th over.
David Warner has joined Aaron Finch after giving the Kiwis a gift with Lockie Ferguson taking the key wicket of Warner with his first ball.
The extra bounce had been worrying Warner with the ball kicking up off a length as he tried to dodge out of the way, only for the ball to glance off his gloves.
It leaves Australia 2/40 off the first 10 overs after electing to bat — wonder if Aaron Finch would take the decision to bat again.
Boult strikes for NZ
In a tough start for Australia both David Warner and Aaron Finch were struggling with the opening bowling combination of all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme and quick Trent Boult.
And after being dropped early, Finch failed to make the most of his life, trapped LBW for eight by Boult in the fifth over — as Finch went back in his crease and was given out with replays showing the ball was crashing into off stump.
In the same over Usman Khawaja edged a full Boult delivery and was dropped, Guptill again the culprit for the Kiwis.
The surprise opening to the bowling saw de Grandhomme’s medium pace preferred at the other end over fast bowler Lockie Ferguson.
Aussies win toss and bat
Aaron Finch won the toss and elected to bat against New Zealand at Lord’s.
Australia enters the match with an unchanged side to the one that defeated England four days ago, meaning Jason Behrendorff and Nathan Lyon keep their places in the starting XI.
After enjoying a win over the Poms on their first visit to Lord’s this World Cup, the Aussies will be hoping for the same outcome at the home of cricket tonight.
Henry Nicholls came into the side for New Zealand to replace the out of form Colin Munro and will partner Martin Guptill at the top of the order for the Black Caps.
Ish Sodhi is also in for a second spin option at the expense of Matt Henry.
Finch feeling pressure
Australia captain Aaron Finch says the champions have toned down their World Cup act as they prepare to face New Zealand, the team they beat in the 2015 final, at Lord’s on Saturday.
The match will revive memories of a Melbourne final in which wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, now a member of Australia’s coaching staff, was criticised for sledging New Zealand batsmen in his final one-day international.
But since then Australia have been through the trauma of a ball-tampering scandal that saw former captain Steve Smith and opener David Warner handed 12-month bans.
There has been a noticeable lack of flare-ups between players on opposing sides at this World Cup, although there have been issues of dissent at umpires’ decisions.
“I think it has been a great spirit out on the field, regardless of results,” Finch said ahead of the trans-Tasman battle.
“I know the last one was quite an aggressive World Cup on the field, mainly from us. We were quite aggressive in our approach and how we went about things.
“This one has been absolutely brilliant, and I think that’s been really pleasing as well.”
In-form opening batsman Finch is expecting a strong test from New Zealand in a match where a win for Kane Williamson’s men would see them into the last four.
“I think the great thing with New Zealand is that they fight and scrap every single game, regardless of whether it’s a World Cup final or it’s a club game,” said Finch.
“They are a great fielding side. They put pressure on you. They have got world-class players.”
With Australia already assured of a semi-final place, they could rest fast bowlers Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins from Saturday’s day/night match.
“I know that they (Starc and Cummins) have got no interest whatsoever in being rested or anything like that,” said Finch.
“We want to try to keep our winning momentum,” he added.
“You don’t want to tempt fate. I mean, we have got a week until our next game (against South Africa).
“We feel as though that week will be a really good opportunity for the bowlers to really freshen up and de-loading them three or four days after this match to manage them through the next part of the tournament, and obviously with a huge summer coming up here with the Ashes.”
Warner’s wife is due to give birth to the couple’s third child this weekend, which will certainly give him something else to think about other than the World Cup.
But Finch said he wanted all his players to enjoy their time away from cricket.
“It’s important that when you get days off, you really get away from the game and freshen up. For me, before my wife got here, it was about getting out and playing golf.
“Now it’s more like shopping but yeah, minigolf the other day, that’s the closest I’ve got to the course since she’s been here. Sorry, darling.
“I’ll cop it for that later,” a smiling Finch added to laughter from reporters.