Head, who broke his left hand trying to pull Gerald Coetzee during the ODI series against South Africa just before the World Cup, had already been tested with the short ball, but he would probably be at the start of the World Cup. Looked like he was in some trouble.
Head was almost ready for the last match, but at the last moment Australia decided to give him three more days. On the eve of the match, Head batted only 20 minutes in the nets, and did not look in good form, regularly missing between the bats. However, he hardly made any mistakes in the match.
Head made his intentions clear with an aerial off drive for four runs on the third ball. Matt Henry then gave him two free-hits in the third over, both of which he cleared front leg and pulled for sixes over midwicket. New Zealand tried to remove his arms from straight lines, but Head kept taking runs through midwicket, his most productive area.
With David Warner almost matching him shot-by-shot – only the second time two opening batsmen have scored fifties inside 30 balls – Australia posted the third-highest 10-over total in ODIs where ball-by-ball data is available. Although Warner slowed down the pace a bit, Head’s intentions did not change even in the middle overs. He did not let Mitchell Santner, the second highest wicket-taker in this World Cup, settle down in his work at all and hit a four and a six in his first two overs.
Warner missed out on a century as he took a return catch to Glenn Phillips, but Head held his own. He eventually fell for 109 off 67 balls, bowled by a straight ball from Phillips, hitting seven sixes and 10 fours and leading Australia to a huge score.