Australia were 117 for 8 before the last two wickets added 78, with Zampa playing an important role. New Zealand’s top order was then rendered virtually scoreless. They were left 14 for 3 after ten overs by the pace trio of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Sean Abbott – the latter bowling 28 dot balls, and taking two wickets, on his comeback before conceding a run.
Zampa, who claimed his first wicket with a big full toss that Williamson missed, was especially delighted for Abbott. Zampa himself finished with a career-best 5 for 35 but reflected that he felt “a little bit off”.
“To be honest, I haven’t seen a run [economy] rate like that in an ODI probably ever,” Zampa said. “Our guys showed some serious discipline. I mean Hazlewood and Starc were both excellent, but in particular Sean Abbott, who has been in and out of the team. Think over five, six, seven years, he has played five or six games. So to take his opportunity now – it’s tough when you are sitting on the pine [being left out] for four or five games, sometimes having only one opportunity to make your mark, it can get the better of you. But he bowled outstandingly today and super proud of Sean.
“I bowled terribly. Well, I wouldn’t say terribly…but was one of those days where I felt a little bit off, probably wasn’t quite at my best but there was a lot happening. Sometimes when it’s like that and you are bowling to the tail you can go searching for wickets, which I did, [but] probably felt like we were in position to go searching for some wickets tonight. I think I reaped the rewards of the guys who bowled before me.
“I had a bit of luck with the Kane dismissal, then got into my work a bit better from there. They say legspinners can bowl a bit of c*** and get wickets. When that c*** comes out and you see it go down, you start walking back to your mark knowing you’ve got an extra six runs against your name. But that happens.”
Williamson, who threw his head back in anguish after missing the full toss and called for a review purely out of hope, said New Zealand’s batting needed to be better at adapting to the conditions – which he termed “very slow and hard to get rhythm” – something they had done successfully on the tour of the West Indies last month where they came from 1-0 down to take the series.
“No doubt the conditions are tough but we have to be a little bit smarter,” Williamson said. “Today I thought we were too soft in terms of our dismissals, we did need to try and weather the storm a bit. It was going to be a challenge, but if you could try and stick together. There wasn’t a lot of scoreboard pressure so you try to reverse that momentum later in the game and get through the tough spells.
“The new ball was quite challenging and Australia were just outstanding with the lengths they are able to hit, the pressure they built, and they got some early wickets as well. It is almost old-school one-day cricket where you are just trying to get through spells. As we saw, Australia were able to get two partnerships that were able to get them a competitive total, so certainly some lessons to learn.”
However, he insisted that New Zealand did not have a psychological barrier to get over as they tried to beat Australia on their soil for the first time since 2011. “It’s cricket, they are a very good side, they’ve played well and adapted to conditions,” he said. “[But] we do need to be better than we were tonight.”
The final ODI takes place on Sunday and the two teams will meet again in their opening match of the T20 World Cup at the SCG in October.
Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo