Ton-up Shane is the Aussie hero again

SHANE WATSON smashed a second successive unbeaten century to help Australia retain the Champions Trophy with a six-wicket victory over New Zealand in Pretoria last night.<br /><br />Fresh from his brilliant 136no in the semi-final against England on Friday, the Aussie all-rounder was the hero again, smashing a masterful 105no in response to the Black Caps&rsquo; below-par total of 200-9.<br /><br />Watson&rsquo;s innings consisted of four sixes and 10 fours and earned him the man-of-the-match award for the second successive Champions Trophy final.<br /><br />It also helped rebuild the Australian innings as the Kiwi&rsquo;s, without captain Daniel Vettori with a hamstring injury, dismissed both Tim Paine and Australia captain Ricky Ponting with just six on the board.<br /><br />Watson shared an outstanding 128 third-wicket partnership with Cameron White (62), and despite the loss of Mike Hussey for 11, Australia cruised to their victory target with 28 balls to spare to become the first country ever to win the title twice.<br /><br />&ldquo;Kyle Mills and Shane Bond bowled well up front,&rdquo; Watson said. &ldquo;It was a challenge to survive and score runs and to do that for my country is great.&rdquo;<br /><br />Ponting lauded his batting heroes, adding: &ldquo;It&rsquo;s really good that Shane and Cameron stepped up the way they did. This is terrific for them and the team. We have had our ups and downs but it is great to see these youngsters stand up and be counted.&rdquo;<br /><br />Mills returned fine figures of 3-27 which lifted him above the great Richard Hadlee in his country&rsquo;s ODI standings but none of his fellow bowlers were able to follow suit as the Black Caps failed to recover from a poor batting display on a lively Centurion wicket.<br /><br />Only Martin Guptil (40) showed any resistance as the Australian pace bowlers were accurate and menacing and the field aggressive and sharp, while spinner Nathan Hauritz&rsquo;s 3-37 set the platform for victory.