Australia beats NZ by 86 runs in '15 World Cup final rematch

Australia's Mitchell Starc raises his cap to the crowd as he walks off the field after Australia defeated New Zealand by 86 runs during the Cricket World Cup match between New Zealand and Australia at Lord's cricket ground in London, Saturday, June 29, 2019. Starc took 5 wicket in the match . (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
New Zealand's James Neesham reacts after almost taking the wicket of Australia's Usman Khawajaduring the Cricket World Cup match between New Zealand and Australia at Lord's cricket ground in London, Saturday, June 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Australia's Jason Behrendorff celebrates after getting New Zealand's Martin Guptill out lbw, during the Cricket World Cup match between New Zealand and Australia at Lord's cricket ground in London, Saturday, June 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
New Zealand's Trent Boult appeals for lbw on Australia's Jason Behrendorff, which was given during the Cricket World Cup match between New Zealand and Australia at Lord's cricket ground in London, Saturday, June 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
New Zealand's James Neesham dives to his left to dismiss caught and bowled Australia's Glenn Maxwell during the Cricket World Cup match between New Zealand and Australia at Lord's cricket ground in London, Saturday, June 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Australia's Nathan Lyon bowls during the Cricket World Cup match between New Zealand and Australia at Lord's cricket ground in London, Saturday, June 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Australia's Alex Carey plays a shot off the bowling of New Zealand's Mitchell Santner during the Cricket World Cup match between New Zealand and Australia at Lord's cricket ground in London, Saturday, June 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Australia's Usman Khawaja plays a shot during the Cricket World Cup match between New Zealand and Australia at Lord's cricket ground in London, Saturday, June 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
New Zealand's James Neesham, left, celebrates with teammate New Zealand's Martin Guptill after taking the wicket of Australia's Glenn Maxwell caught and bowled during the Cricket World Cup match between New Zealand and Australia at Lord's cricket ground in London, Saturday, June 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
New Zealand's Lockie Ferguson reacts after taking the wicket of Australia's David Warner, during the Cricket World Cup match between New Zealand and Australia at Lord's cricket ground in London, Saturday, June 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

LONDON — Mitchell Starc polished off what Usman Khawaja and Alex Carey started as Australia gradually drowned New Zealand by 86 runs in their Cricket World Cup group match at Lord's on Saturday.

Top-order batsman Khawaja and wicketkeeper Carey came together with their side in strife at 92-5 on the hottest day of the English summer. Their repair job of 107 runs for the sixth wicket, of which Carey whacked 68, allowed Australia to post a competitive 243-9.

Four days after routing England by 64 runs on the same pitch, the bowlers gave their best effort yet in dismissing New Zealand for 157 in the 44th over.

Left-arm paceman Starc took tournament-best figures of 5-26, his second 5-wicket haul of the event. Starc has 24 wickets, two more than he earned in the 2015 World Cup, with at least two more matches to play.

His wickets, however, were the result of pressure applied by his fellow bowlers.

Jason Behrendorff removed the openers, and part-time spinners Steve Smith, Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell, and specialist Nathan Lyon contributed to tying down the Kiwis, who cracked trying to make runs.

New Zealand's chase was as good as over from the 32nd over, once captain Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor were back in the pavilion for 40 and 30 respectively.

Of the 261 balls the New Zealand batsmen faced in their innings, 172 were dots.

Starc was virtually unplayable: Of his 58 deliveries, 45 were dots. Fellow left-armer Behrendorff was left alone for 37 of his 54 deliveries. Pat Cummins for 28 of his 36.

Australia, still the only team to have qualified for the semifinals, is heading to the playoffs continuing to show ruthless improvement in every appearance.

After rejecting a chance to rest front-liners and promising to keep their foot on the pedal, the Australians squeezed out a fifth consecutive win defending a total since their only loss to India. The defending champions extended their lead atop the standings to three points over unbeaten India, which has two games in hand.

The New Zealanders would have cemented their semifinals position with a win, but the day-nighter reflected their performance: Started brightly only to end up being completely shaded.

Depending on results over the next three days involving England and Bangladesh, New Zealand could go into its last group match on Wednesday against England as desperate for a win as the tournament hosts.

A pitch that was roasted in afternoon air temperatures of 34 Celsius (94 F) still offered movement for seam and spin in the evening, and Australia strangled the Kiwis into errors.

Martin Guptill and Henry Nicholls, making his World Cup debut, gave New Zealand its best opening stand in five matches, but both were dismissed cheaply by Behrendorff by the 14th over, bringing together Williamson and Taylor, New Zealand's best batsmen.

They were hardly any less constricted. Their 15-over score of 46-2 was the lowest of the tournament. The pair went 10 overs without scoring a boundary.

They were tied down by spin, and Starc benefited when he returned for his second spell by getting the big wicket of Williamson. The New Zealand captain was tempted by a fielder vacating slips and tried to dab Starc away only to glance behind to Carey. That ended a stand of 50 with Taylor, who was out skying a fast ball from Cummins.

The match also started well for bowlers — New Zealand's.

Australia couldn't get a run in the first two overs for the first time in seven years.

Finch, who scored 100 on Tuesday at Lord's against England, was trapped on 8, and his opening partnership with David Warner, averaging 91 in this tournament, was broken on 15.

Warner was blown away by Lockie Ferguson on 16 and booed off. Steve Smith was booed in, made 5, and was out swatting a vicious pull to Martin Guptill at leg gully. Guptill, just 19 meters away, had an estimated 0.6 seconds to react, leap left, and trap the smoking ball high in his left hand. Even Lord's members, allowed to take off their blazers in the heat, stood and applauded the incredible catch.

Jimmy Neesham claimed Marcus Stoinis on 8 and Glenn Maxwell on 1, and Australia was in trouble.

Up stepped Khawaja with 88 and Carey with 71 in an impressive fightback.

Khawaja had been scrabbling at the crease since the fifth over, surviving two dropped catches and a run out chance. He played anchor while Carey blazed away with 11 boundaries.

Khawaja stuck around to the 50th over, when he was the first wicket of Trent Boult's hat trick. Boult also yorkered Starc and trapped Behrendorff for his second hat trick in ODIs, and the first for New Zealand in World Cups.

Starc and Behrendorff got payback with a cherry on top, leaving Boult the only not out New Zealand batsman, on 2.

___

More AP cricket: www.apnews.com/cricket and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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