David Warner hit his sixth One-Day International century of the year to lead Australia to an imposing 378 for 5 after being sent into bat by New Zealand in the second Chappell-Hadlee Trophy game on Tuesday (December 6).
Warner smashed 119 off 115 balls to lead a bevy of big scores by the Australians at the batsman-friendly Manuka Oval.
New Zealand must win this game to keep alive their hopes of retaining the trophy after losing by 68 runs in Sydney on Sunday.
But the gamble by Kane Williamson, New Zealand’s skipper, to send the Australians in to bat backfired spectacularly when the home side feasted on a perfect batting track.
Steven Smith, the Australian captain, hit 72 off 76 balls, while Travis Head plundered 57 off 32 balls and Mitchell Marsh bludgeoned seven sixes in a unbeaten 76 off just 40 balls to give the visiting side a hefty target to chase down under lights in the evening session.
The pugnacious Warner raised his 10th ODI century off 101 balls to continue his outstanding form with the white ball. It was his third ton in his last five ODI innings, and his first against New Zealand.
Only three other Australian batsmen have scored more hundreds in ODIs — Ricky Ponting (30), Mark Waugh (18) and Adam Gilchrist (16).
Warner was out to a low catch from Williamson at cover off Colin de Grandhomme, the medium pacer, in the 37th over, ending a 145-run partnership with Smith. Smith followed up his career-best ODI score of 164 in Sydney with 72.
The Australian skipper, who was struck a painful blow in the groin by a de Grandhomme delivery on 56, sliced to Mitchell Santner at deep point when he was on top of the New Zealand bowlers.
Head hit his second half-century of the series before he was caught off Tim Southee. Aaron Finch, dropped two balls before by BJ Watling, the wicketkeeper, was bowled attempting to sweep Santner for 19 in the 13th over, ending a 68-run opening stand with Warner.
Australia made one change, bringing in James Faulkner for Adam Zampa, the legspinner, while there was still no place for Glenn Maxwell.
New Zealand brought back Southee, the experienced paceman, for Lockie Ferguson.