It will be a happy return for Marcus Stoinis to Eden Park where he launched his international careerMarcus Stoinis is relishing his return to the ground which launched his international career as ‘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 on Friday 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.
fell six runs short of their target when Josh Hazlewood was run out at the non-striker’s end without facing a ball.
But it was a special knock from Stoinis who, in just his second ODI, became the first n 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 quipped on Wedneday.
“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.”
trained briefly at Eden Park on Wednesday although heavy rain prevented them using the nets.
Stoinis made his limited-overs debut during ‘s tour of England 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.
“To come back after 18 months and do well and help the team out, it was just a ‘thank God’ sort of thing … ‘I’m here now and I can get a few games’.”
With 221 runs at 44.20, Stoinis was ‘s second-highest scorer behind Aaron Finch during their 4-1 ODI series defeat to England.
His middle-order position means he has only been required to bat once so far in the T20 series, although he has also contributed some handy overs of medium-pace.
will be hoping for another strong top-order performance when they face New Zealand, who claimed a 12-run win over England in Wellington on Tuesday night.
A Black Caps victory on Friday would guarantee next week’s final is a trans-Tasman affair.
Stoinis said it was possible the visitors would take the opportunity to try a few new things.
“Maybe it just plays into the brand of cricket we want to play which is fearless cricket,” he said.
“We are in the final so now we can really just continue that.”