Australia batter Marnus Labuschagne has said that playing out the dangerous New Zealand pace bowler Trent Boult's overs without losing too many wickets was the team's strategy in the third and final One-day International here on Sunday.
While Boult had four-wicket hauls in both the opening ODIs (4/40 and 4/38) of the three-match series, he couldn't make much of an impact in the last ODI here, with the much-feared quick getting just two wickets.
Steve Smith struck a patient century and Labuschagne scored a half-ton as Australia recorded their highest total of 267/5 in the ODI series against the Black Caps, where Boult had earlier restricted them to below-par totals.
With the 25-run win on Sunday, which was also white-ball skipper Aaron Finch's farewell ODI game, Australia made a clean sweep of the series. The hosts had managed to recover from 5/44 in the first ODI and again from 5/54 in the second but only after Boult found plenty of swing to unsettle the Kangaroos.
"We summed up from the first two games that if we cannot get out to Trent Boult and just stay out there that we can put on a total of 260, 270 through just good cricket, good batting," Labuschagne was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au after the 3-0 series victory.
In fact, Steve Smith was also in awe of Boult saying, he is one of the most difficult bowlers to bat against."New Zealand have some terrific new ball bowlers, Boult in particular, swinging the ball back in," said Smith, adding, "We've seen how dangerous he's been on that wicket this series.
I needed to get through that period like I did in the last game."Australia's ploy to play dead bat to Boult showed in their figures the Kiwi quick's first eight overs cost him only 10 runs, including four maidens. Boult finished with the figures of 10-4-25-2, claiming the wickets of Inglis and Glenn Maxwell (14).
However, Australia more than made up for the run-rate slump by batting with intent against the other five bowlers.Smith's 12th ODI century on Sunday was his slowest (105 off 131 deliveries)."I feel like I'm hitting the ball nicely, I'm just trying to keep things as simple as I can.
There's not too much you can sort of do on that sort of wicket. It's just swim between the flags and not do anything too stupid," added Smith.