Praise from Ponting as Harris and Johnson demolish Black Caps

Australia level the Chappell-Hadlee series at one game apiece thanks to a 12-run Duckworth-Lewis method victory against New Zealand.

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Ricky Ponting, the Australia captain, saluted the ability of his team to force a win after a tense 12-run victory over New Zealand yesterday to level the Chappell-Hadlee one-day internationalseries at 1-1. Ryan Harris (3-34) and Mitchell Johnson (4-51) took seven wickets between them in Auckland yesterday to dismiss the Black Caps for 253 in 43.2 overs after the hosts were set a revised target of 266 from 45 overs in the rain-curtailed second game of the five-match series. Harris sealed the win by dismissing Daniel Vettori, the New Zealand captain, for a game-high 70 from 49 balls. "I'm proud of the way the guys hung in there," said Ponting. "The game could have goneeither way right towards the end. Our bowlers stuck to their guns pretty well. "It wasn't a great performance by any stretch of the imagination, but we did enough to win which is pleasing. When you are a little bit below your best and you still find a way to win that's always satisfying. "I think New Zealand are playing pretty well at the moment as well so you've got to give them some credit." Vettori, who played despite a neck problem after his deputy Ross Taylor pulled out with a hamstring injury, was left to rue a poor batting display from the top order. The Kiwis lost their first four wickets for just 46. "It's a total we should have got but we just consistently lost wickets," he said. "We put ourselves under too much pressure and couldn't maximise those last 10 overs, including the power play, to win the game." Vettori also suggested that the Duckworth/Lewis method of assessing a team's targets in weather-affected games had not worked in their favour. The New Zealand target was reduced by eight runs under the D/L formula after a couple of rain delays, but they also lost five overs in which to get the runs, including two that would have been in power plays. "To lose two powerplay overs and to only have eight runs taken off, I don't know how that works," said Vettori. "It makes it incredibly tough. It would have been better if the game had gone the full 50 overs."