Smith stunner sparks Kiwi humiliation
Australia have crushed New Zealand by 99 runs at Lord's as the defending champions once again flex their muscles.
Australia struggled to 9/243 after a Trent Boult hat-trick in the 50th over left the side short of 250.
At a tournament where 500 was believed to be possible, it took an anchoring 88 off 129 balls from Usman Khawaja and 72-ball 71 from Alex Carey to guide Australia to the total.
With ball in hand, it was all one-way traffic as Australia rolled through the brittle Kiwi line-up.
After Australian openers were removed early, former captain Steve Smith looked to get about rebuilding.
But on five, he smashed a hook shot, only for Martin Guptill to take a brilliant catch at leg gully.
Guptill, who had dropped two catches, took an absolute belter which was called the catch of the tournament.
The world immediately lost it over the classic moment.
More I watch that Guptill catch the more I'm flabbergasted by it. 142kph bouncer. Properly nailed hook from Steve Smith. Caught one handed, weak hand, at LEG GULLY. More you think about it, the more ridiculous it seems— Andrew Fidel Fernando (@afidelf) June 29, 2019
We've had stunners at this World Cup. This was best bar none
Now that is the catch of the tournament from M.Guptill.— Mark Waugh (@juniorwaugh349) June 29, 2019
Not one to lay down, Smith hit back, getting a rare bowl with his leg spinners.
After bowling a tight first over, Smith was brought back later in the innings, straight after Mitchell Starc removed Ross Taylor to a tough catch for Alex Carey.
With the first ball of his second over, Smith took the key wicket of Colin de Grandhomme for a golden duck, his first wicket since November 2014.
Post match, Aaron Finch said the decision to bowl Smith was a team one.
"There was a bit of discussion, JL (Justin Langer), Punter (Ricky Ponting), myself, Smudge (Smith) himself, Brad Haddin as well, there's a lot of ideas go into planning meetings so it was nice one of those worked today."
Smith then took a phenomenal catch to make it 3/7 with a one-handed speccie.
Smith's catch dropped some jaws as well as he went horizontal to catch the full-blooded drive.
It added yet another chapter to the brilliant day of cricket with Australia showing they can defend any total.
"Some of the catching today has two or three of the better ones you'll ever see," commentator Ian Smith said. "I'm going to say Alex Carey's was a good one, a skier. That's the problem, there's too much quality to come in out of the dressing room to do something about it as well."
Mitchell Starc and Jason Behrendorff again starred with the ball to restrict New Zealand.
Behrendorff bowled through nine overs early, taking the wickets of the openers, finishing with 2/31 from nine overs.
Mitchell Starc took 5/26 from 9.4 overs as he cleaned up the innings.
Starc was bowling with some serious pace, hitting 153.8km/h with his fastest ball early in the innings.
Earlier, Australia had to dig its way out of a disastrous hole to score a competitive total.
The side lost wickets early, falling to 5/92.
It could have been much worse however as several catches went to ground. But on the other hand, New Zealand pull off some classic moments.
Aaron Finch was dismissed LBW early, before David Warner follow on the first ball of Kiwi speedster Lockie Ferguson's spell with the ball flicking his gloves as he tried to get out of the way.
The wickets continued to fall with Smith, Marcus Stoinis and Glenn Maxwell having brief stays, leaving Khawaja and Carey to rebuild the innings.
The pair piled on a 107-run stand.
Khawaja was the anchor and plodded to 88 off 129 balls before he was dismissed as part of a stunning hat-trick.
Trent Boult kept Australia to just two runs in the final over of the innings with the quick nabbing the rare feat.
Khawaja had his leg stump taken out while improvising before Mitchell Starc was also bowled.
Jason Behrendorff then faced up to a full toss which hit him in line to complete the historic moment.
Boult is just the 10th bowler to take a hat-trick in a World Cup and 11th hat-trick overall with Lasith Malinga having taken two.
He's also the first New Zealand bowler to take a hat-trick in a World Cup and the first Kiwi to do so in any format at Lord's. But it's the fourth hat-trick from a New Zealander in one-day cricket with Boult having taken two with Danny Morrison and Shane Bond - the other two Kiwi hat-trick takers.
Wow ... Trent Boult takes the first final-over hat-trick against Australia in a World Cup since Steven Finn at Melbourne in 2015 #CWC19— Andrew Miller (@miller_cricket) June 29, 2019
While it wasn't the batting performance Finch was looking for, he said it was a positive to give the middle order some time to bat.
"It was important that they got some time in the middle but not in the way that we did," he said. "It was a difficult surface to start on so the way Alex (Carey) played in particular, to come out and hit the bat in the middle, in the two games here, we haven't seen too many guys strike the ball in the middle consistently, it was a really great innings."