New Delhi: A power-packed bowling performance by Tim Southee and Mitchell Santner coupled with a top-class half-century from Devon Conway helped New Zealand sink the defending champions Australia to an 89-run defeat in their Group 1, Super 12 match of the ICC T20 World Cup at Syndey on Saturday. With this win, Kiwis are at the top of the points table with two points while Australia is at the bottom with zero points. It was a memorable day for New Zealand as they outclassed the defending champions and their arch-rivals in every department.
Chasing 201, Australia was off to a bad start as star opener David Warner was sent back by pacer Tim Southee for just five runs. The pacer delivered a short of good length delivery pitched around the leg stump, which hit Warner’s thigh pad, then lobbed to hit his bat and crash into the stumps. Australia was 5/1.
Captain Aaron Finch was joined by all-rounder Mitchell Marsh in pursuit of a 200+ score. Both looked in good touch and hit some fine shorts. Their promising stand was cut short at 25 runs as spinner Mitchell Santner intervened to send back Finch for 13 off 11. Southee got his second wicket of the match, sending back Marsh for 16 off 12 balls. Australia was 3/34.
Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis helped Australia reach 37/3 at the end of the powerplay in six overs, with Stoinis (1*) and Maxwell (2*). The duo helped the Aussies reach the 50-run mark in eight overs.
Kiwis continued to strengthen their hold on the match, not letting another stand prosper, sending back Stoinis for 7 off 14 balls, with Glenn Phillips taking a Superman-esque diving catch at covers. Aussies were 50/4.
At the end of 10 overs, Australia was at 62/4, with Maxwell (16*) and Tim David (5*). <Santer continued to run riot over Aussie line-up, with lanky David failing to deliver expected fireworks. David walked back for 11 off 8 balls and his side was reeling at 68/5. New Zealand continued to offer a lethal cocktail of spin and pace that Aussies could not tackle. ‘Finisher’ Matthew Wade was dismissed by pacer Lockie Ferguson for just 2 off 4 balls and spinner Ish Sodhi took the big scalp of Maxwell, who had till this time held the other end steady.
The all-rounder was back for 28 off 20 balls and the defending champions had sunk to 89/7. The duo of Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins helped Australia cross the 100-run mark in 15.1 overs.
Kiwi pace spearhead Trent Boult made sure that Australia’s downward spiral continued as he sent Starc (4) and Adam Zampa (0). The defending champions sunk to 109/9. Cummins skied one high in the air and Southee and Conway delivered the final blow to Australia, with Cummins out for 21 off 18 balls. The defending champions lost the match by 89 runs and were bundled out for 111 in 17.1 overs.
Tim Southee was the best bowler for New Zealand, taking 3/6 in 2.1 overs. Santner also took 3/31 in his four overs. Boult got two wickets and duo of Sodhi and Ferguson got one each. Earlier, the openers’ rampage helps New Zealand post the highest T20 World Cup score against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday.
Devon Conway (92*) and Finn Allen (40) toyed with the Australian bowlers to post a mammoth 200/3 against Australia, setting up a challenging chase for the Aussie batters. Opting to bat first, New Zealand got off to a flier with openers Finn Allen and Devon Conway taking the attack to the Australian pace bowlers. Allen came out all guns blazing, going after the Aussie bowlers from the word go, smashing 14 runs off the first over.
Allen hit Mitchell Starc for two boundaries and a six to start off the inning. Conway too started aggressively smashing two boundaries off Josh Hazlewood, while Allen also struck the pacer for a boundary. Allen continued his onslaught in the third over and treated Pat Cummins the same way he dealt with Starc and smashed the pacer for 17 runs.
Captain Aaron Finch had to bring on Marcus Stoinis in the fourth over, bringing on the fourth change in the same number of overs, desperately looking for a wicket. Stoinis was also sent over the ropes by Allen, bringing the Kiwi team’s fifty inside four overs. Finch brought back the world’s number one T20I bowler Josh Hazlewood to end the Allen rampage, with the pacer getting dismissed on a perfectly bowled yorker. Allen scored 42 off 16 deliveries, giving New Zealand a quick start with the team ending at 65/1 after the powerplay.
Kiwi captain Kane Williamson walked in at number three and was watchful with his batting, prompting Conway to pick up the role of the aggressor. Conway looked to put leg-spinner Adam Zampa under pressure and went after him, smashing him for a boundary and a six taking the team to 97-1 after the 10-over mark. Conway brought up his fifty in 36 deliveries smashing a huge six off Zampa. Williamson did smack Stoinis for a six but looked scratchy in his stay of 23 runs. He was sent back to the pavilion by Zampa in the 13th over.
Glenn Philips looked to attack but was dismissed by Hazlewood in the 16th over. Conway found an able partner in James Neesham as they plundered the Aussie bowlers for 48 runs in the last four overs, helping the team get to the 200-mark. Neesham remained unbeaten on 26(13) while Conway narrowly missed a century to end up on 92*. Hazlewood once again was the pick of the Aussie bowlers as he picked two wickets for 41 runs.