The second T20 between New Zealand and Australia resulted in one of the best T20 matches in the history of the shortest format. The game produced a run-fest at the University Oval, with New Zealand having the last laugh.
The game started rather slowly as New Zealand scored just 30 runs in the first five overs, losing Tim Seifert’s wicket. Martin Guptill’s poor form with the bat was a big concern for the Blackcaps going into the match. The opener, however, didn’t disappoint this time around as he played one of the best knocks of his T20 career. With Kane Williamson, he stitched a blistering 131-run partnership off 69 balls.
Guptill set his intentions clear right from the start of the innings and pounced on every delivery. The New Zealand batsman brought up his half-century off just 27 balls. Williamson was playing as the second fiddle for most of the partnership. It was in the 10th over of the innings when even he made up his mind to free his hands.
At the half-way mark, New Zealand were 85 for 1.
Guptill hit as many as eight sixes en-route his 97 off 50 balls. He was caught in the deep by Stoinis in the 15th over of the innings. Williamson also played a fine 53-run knock off 35 balls.
To everyone’s surprise, Jimmy Neesham was sent ahead of Conway and Phillips only to up the scoring rate. Neesham delivered in a sensational style. He hit three sixes off the first three balls he faced during his knock. While wickets kept falling at the other end, the southpaw ensured the scoring rate kept rising upwards. He stayed unbeaten at 45 off 16 balls as New Zealand notched 219 runs in 20 overs.
Australia made a strong start in reply, thanks to Wade’s 15-ball 24-run cameo. However, four quick wickets in the first half of Australia’s innings meant the game was titled heavily in favour of New Zealand. At 13 overs, Australia were 113 for 6.
While New Zealand looked to wrap things up quickly, what followed was some brutal hitting from Daniel Sams and Marcus Stoinis. The duo hit some long sixes and turned things around in just 4 overs. In the next five overs, the duo added 92 runs to bring down the equation to 15 runs in the final over. Marcus Stoinis hit a six off the fourth ball of the final over as Australia needed nine off the final two balls. The all-rounder, however, couldn’t take his team over the line as he got hold out on the second last ball after scoring a blistering 78 off 37 balls.
New Zealand eventually won the game by 5 runs.