20 April, 2024
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Hazlewood, Zampa pin NZ as Aussies claim T20 series

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Australia have retained the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy after a superb bowling effort, defending 174 for a 72-run win at Eden Park that clinches the three-game T20 series.

Sent in by Kiwi skipper Mitchell Santner, Australia’s total appeared well under par for the diminutive Auckland ground.

Only Travis Head (45 off 22) and Pat Cummins (28 off 22), in at eight to steady the ship, impressed with the bat on Friday night.

It mattered not as an understrength Black Caps side never got going in their chase, held to 102 by a ferocious Aussie attack.

Josh Hazlewood (1-12 off four) claimed the key wicket of opener Finn Allen in the first over, before producing a rare T20 maiden in the powerplay.

Adam Zampa enjoyed the night’s best figures of 4-34, including bowling Josh Clarkson and Adam Milne in consecutive balls to scuttle the Kiwis’ chances.

Australia’s attack in the field was typified by returning gloveman Matthew Wade, who sprinted for Will Young’s skied effort and caught it in the outfield to have the Kiwis wobbling at 2-14.

“I had a great view … I was at midwicket, I was meant probably meant to run for it but backed away,” Zampa said.

“It was a great catch, probably one of the best ones I’ve seen from a wicketkeeper like that.”

From 2-14, the Black Caps slumped further to 4-29 and sunk without trace after Zampa’s quick dismissals.

New Zealand – already without Kane Williamson and Daryl Mitchell – rested Rachin Ravindra due to a sore knee, and were beset by further bad fortune early on the night.

Opener Devon Conway wasn’t able to bat after a wicketkeeping injury which meant he handed over the gloves to Allen, with scans later clearing him of a break.

Glenn Phillips (42 off 35) was the Kiwis best with the bat, playing an anchoring role before becoming Zampa’s third victim, caught at long-on.

“It was not an easy pitch to start on,” Phillips said, “and the line that Australia bowled was incredibly hard to get away”.

New Zealand’s early innings woe was in complete contrast to Australia’s, which started like a wildfire.

Powered by Head (45 off 22), Australia raced to 2-103 off eight overs and looked set for a monster total.

 Australia opener Travis Head smashed a quickfire 45 in Australia’s total of 174 in Auckland. Image by AP PHOTO 

The quick start was despite the returning Steve Smith, who made an unconvincing 11 before falling lbw to the stellar Lockie Ferguson (4-12 off 3.5 overs).

Smith, without an Indian Premier League contract, needed runs to prove his worth for June’s T20 World Cup, given coach Andrew McDonald admited how he performed in Auckland would “dictate what happens” with his World Cup place.

But he wasn’t alone in failing with the bat.

Australia were too often tempted by the tonk given the short boundaries, with four of the top six caught attempting to slog.

Glenn Maxwell (six) and Marsh (26) holed out to Trent Boult at long-on within three deliveries, with Josh Inglis (five) and Wade (one) following shortly after.

Alongside Ferguson, Kiwi paceman Ben Sears (2-29 off four) impressed.

Despite the lack of partnerships, late-innings contributions from Tim David and particularly Cummins meant Australia posted a score the Kiwis couldn’t match.

The game-two stroll was a sharp contrast to the opener in Wellington, won by Australia when David conjured a last-ball four.

The result means game three, also at Auckland’s Eden Park, is a dead rubber.

After the T20 series, Australia will turn their attention to a two-match Test series, beginning at Wellington’s Basin Reserve on Thursday.

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