New Zealand hold nerve to beat Australia200 views
Mitchell McClenaghan (3/17), Corey Anderson (2/29) and Mitchell Santner (2/30) bagged seven wickets between them as New Zealand beat Australia by eight runs in their World Twenty20 match at Dharamsala on Friday.
Usman Khawaja and Shane Watson provided a good opening stand, but Australian batters failed to convert it into their victory.
Earlier, Australia restricted New Zealand to 142/8, with the Black Caps failing to capitalise on a blistering opening partnership.
After Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson put on 61 in the first seven overs, the Black Caps had appeared poised to put on a score close to 200 in Dharamsala.
But poor shot selection and tight bowling from the veteran Shane Watson and allrounders Glenn Maxwell and James Faulkner put the brakes on the big-hitting side who pulled off a shock victory over India in their opening match of the tournament.
Australia surprisingly left out batsman Aaron Finch and paceman Josh Hazlewood, calling up spin duo Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar, as they seek to win the trophy for the first time.
The selection backfired as Agar went for three sixes in what was his one and only over. His first two balls were full tosses, gratefully dispatched over the ropes by Guptill.
But Agar later made amends by catching both skipper Williamson and Corey Anderson in quick succession, both taken after they miscued expansive strokes.
Guptill was the first to go after racing to 39 off 27 balls, caught on the boundary by Maxwell off the bowling of Faulkner as he tried to go for another six at the beginning of the eighth over.
New Zealand never recovered their momentum and no batsman ever really looked settled on what proved to be a slow pitch.
Watson’s first three overs yielded just 11 runs and he took the key wicket of Ross Taylor in his final over, one ball after being hit for six by the former Kiwi captain.
The big-hitting Maxwell also impressed in his three overs which went for 18.
New Zealand spinner Nathan McCullum made way for Mitchell McClenaghan despite playing a leading role during the Black Caps’ shock opening victory over hosts India on Tuesday.