Stoinis gears up for more Eden Park action against Kiwis
MARCUS Stoinis is relishing his return to the ground which launched his international career as Australia’s Twenty20 side prepare to face New Zealand in Auckland.
With a spot in next week’s tri-series final already locked up, the visitors will be out to maintain their unbeaten run when they face the Black Caps tomorrow night at Eden Park.
The ground holds fond memories for Stoinis, who became the talk of the cricket world when he scored an incredible 146 not out during last summer’s one-day international series.
Australia fell six runs short of their target when Josh Hazlewood was run out at the non-striker’s end without fac- ing a ball.
But it was a special knock from Stoinis who, in just his second ODI, became the first Australian to make a hundred and take at least three wickets (3-49) in the format.
Even the famously raucous Eden Park crowd showed their respect by giving Stoinis a standing ovation when he reached his ton.
“I’ve heard it’s pretty rare. Our coach apparently got hit by a fish one time off the boundary,” Stoinis said yesterday.
“That was amazing for me and very respectful from the crowd. I found out later how rare that it is, so a very special moment for me.”
Australia trained briefly at Eden Park yesterday. Stoinis made his limited-overs debut during Australia’s tour of En- gland in 2015 but it wasn’t until his Eden Park master knock that he felt he had arrived on the international scene.
“My career pretty much started here so I’m excited to be back,” he said.
With 221 runs at 44.20, Stoinis was Australia’s second-highest scorer behind Aaron Finch during their 4-1 ODI series defeat to England.