WORLD CUP: Rampant Starc decimates New Zealand

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Australia threw New Zealand’s bid to reach the World Cup semi-finals off course as they beat their old rivals by 86 runs.

The Black Caps made a poor fist of chasing 244, bowled out for 157 after a Trent Boult hat-trick earlier restricted Australia to 243-9.

Usman Khawaja (88) and Alex Carey (71) were the only batsmen to settle for the holders, adding 107 for the sixth wicket.

But New Zealand struggled to build partnerships in reply as Australia strangled them with disciplined bowling, Mitchell Starc taking 5-26 to lift his wicket tally for the tournament to 24.

SCOREBOARD: https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/8039/scorecard/1144519/australia-vs-new-zealand-37th-match-icc-cricket-world-cup-2019

In a repeat of the 2015 final, Australia emerged victors over their Trans-Tasman neighbours once again.

But having already booked their semi-final place with victory against England on Tuesday, this win maintained momentum in their bid to retain the trophy on July 14.

New Zealand’s second defeat in a row after going unbeaten for the first six games of the tournament leaves them still uncertain of reaching the knockout stage.

Their final group game comes against hosts England at Chester-le-Street on Wednesday, where both sides could need victory to reach the last four.

Having been edged out by Pakistan last Wednesday by six wickets, this defeat may well have left a few mental and physical scars after an impressive display in the field seemed to put them on course for victory. (BBC Sport)

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