Worcestershire 2017 overseas signing Mitchell Santner played a key role as New Zealand won a remarkable opening ODI against Australia by six runs at Eden Park, Auckland in the early hours of today.
Santner, who will play for the County in the NatWest T20 Blast, helped the Black Caps overcome a remarkable display of hitting by Marcus Stoinis which almost rescued a lost looking cause for Australia.
He finished with the excellent figures of 3-44 from his 10 overs.
New Zealand posted a total of 286-9 in the first match for the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy thanks mainly to Martin Guptill (61), Neil Broom (73) and James Neesham (48).
The game looked over as a contest as Australia nose-dived to 54-5 with Santner getting in on the act by having number three Shaun Marsh stumped for 16 by Tom Latham after he came down the wicket.
But Stoinis, batting at number seven, had other ideas and smashed an unbeaten 146 off just 117 balls with ELEVEN sixes and nine fours – a total of 102 in boundaries.
He shared in stands of 71 with James Faulkner (25) and 48 with Pat Cummins (36).
Santner looked to have finally settled the game in New Zealand's favour when he had Cummins stumped and then saw Mitchell Starc (3) hole out on the mid wicket boundary to the final delivery of his 10 over allocation.
That left Australia on 226-9 but Stoinis scored all 54 runs in a four over partnership with Josh Hazlewood (0).
The latter was finally run out going for a quick single with Australia dismissed for 280 in 47 overs.
Santner will link up with Worcestershire for his second spell after the Champions Trophy after a broken finger cut short his involvement last summer.