Half centuries from brothers David (79) and Michael Hussey (75 not out) fashioned Australias six-wicket victory over New Zealand in the fourth ODI as the hosts recorded their second successive win to level the five-match series 2-2 on Tuesday.
Chasing 245,Australia lost Michael Clarke (14) and Ricky Ponting (15) inside 15 overs but the Hussey brothers and Brad Haddin made useful contributions with the bat as the hosts cruised to 247 for four in 48.2 overs.
Earlier,Ross Taylors 71-ball 76 and Martin Guptills 70-ball 45 helped New Zealand post a modest 244 for eight in their 50 overs after Daniel Vettori had won the toss and decided to bat first. Both teams now move to Brisbane for the series decider on Friday.
After Clarke and Ponting,who was rushed into the side for the crucial match,departed without making much of an impact,the onus was on Haddin and David to keep Australia in the chase. Haddin made 43 before running himself out. The setback,however,could not derail Australias chase as the Hussey brothers joined hands to guide the hosts towards victory.
In the next 20 overs,the Hussey brothers raised 115 runs that effectively took the match away from New Zealand. Iain OBrien denied David his maiden century when the Kiwi pacer castled him in the 45th over but his 96-ball 79 came just when Australia needed it.
Michael stayed till the end to see the side through and he finished it off in style,hitting a Kyle Mills full-toss for a six. His 71-ball essay was studded with four fours and a
couple of sixes.
Earlier after opting to bat first,New Zealand got off to a sedate start. Openers Brendon McCullum (33) and Guptill denied Australia early success but at the same time boundaries were difficult to come by. Later Taylor and Grant Elliot (26) anchored the innings. Both teams donated their match fees to bushfire victims.
New Zealand: B McCullum b Clarke 33,M Guptill c Bracken b Johnson 45,P Fulton c Bracken b Hopes 5,R Taylor c Haddin b Johnson 76,G Elliott c D Hussey b Johnson 26,C Cumming c Johnson b Hopes 0,N Broom c Hopes b Hilfenhaus 11,K Mills b Bracken 23,D Vettori not out 6,T Southee not out 7
Extras (lb 2,w 10) 12; Total (8 wickets,50 overs) 244
Bowling: Bracken 10-0-51-1,Hilfenhaus 10-0-56-1,Johnson,10-0-51-3,Hopes 10-1-37-2,Clarke 8-0-23-1,White 2-0-24-0
Australia: B Haddin run out 43,M Clarke c Fulton b OBrien 14,R Ponting c Guptill b Southee 15,D Hussey b OBrien 79,M Hussey not out 75,C Ferguson not out 13
Extras (lb 1,w 6,nb 1) 8; Total (4 wickets,48.2 overs) 247
Bowling: Mills 9.2-2-30-0,Southee 10-0-61-1,OBrien 10-0-54-2,Vettori 10-0-54-0,Elliott 9-0-47-0