Kiwis beat Aussies in a match of raining sixes
Defending 15 runs in the last over, James Neesham took two wickets and enforced four dot balls as New Zealand beat Australia by 4 runs in the second T20I in Dunedin to take 2-0 lead in the five-match series.
The match witnessed 31 sixes in total, 18 from New Zealand and 13 from Australia.
In reply to New Zealand’s massive total of 219 for seven, Australia’s innings ended on 215 for eight in 20 overs.
After losing six wickets inside 13 overs with 107 more runs to win, a 92-run partnership between Marcus Stoinis and Daniel Sams kept the visitors in the hunt.
But both Sams (41 off 15 balls; 2 fours, 4 sixes) and Stoinis (78 off 37 balls; 7 fours, 5 sixes) departed in the last over of the match to concede the defeat.
Josh Philippe, coming at No.3, also played a solid knock of 45 runs off 32 balls, striking 2 fours and 3 sixes before getting caught by Devon Conway off Mitchell Santner.
Santner also took the prized wickets of Glenn Maxwell, Ashton Agar and Mitchell Marsh, as he ended up returning figures of 4 for 31 in his four overs. Ish Sodhi also took one wicket.
Earlier in the match after being sent to bat first, Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson’s onslaughts alongside Neesham’s raining sixes helped the Kiwis post a commendable total of 219.
Guptill made 97 off 50, missing out on his third T20I ton by just three runs. His innings featured 6 fours and 8 sixes. Williamson scored 53 off 35, hitting 2 fours and 3 sixes, and Neesham was not out on 45 off 16 balls, smashing one four and as many as 6 sixes.
For Australia, it was Kane Richardson, the most successful bowler, as he took three for 43 in his four overs. Sams, Jhye Richardson and Adam Zampa took one wicket each.
The third T20I of the series will be held in Wellington on March 3, followed by the fourth on March 5 in Auckland and the fifth on March 7 in Mount Maunganui.
Brief score: New Zealand 219 for seven in 20 overs (Guptill 97, Williamson 53; K Richardson 3-43) beat Australia 215 for eight in 20 overs (Stoinis 78, Philippe 45; Santner 4/31) by 4 runs.