Marsh Hails 'Outstanding' Bowlers As Australia Thrash New Zealand In Second T20


(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Published: Fri 23 Feb 2024, 2:19 PM

Adam Zampa took 4-34 as Australia rolled New Zealand for 102 in 17 overs to win the second Twenty20 international by 72 runs Friday and take an insurmountable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

The Australians will head towards the T20 World Cup in the Caribbean and United States in June with more confidence after a comprehensive series win over New Zealand which is the world's second-ranked team.

Australia won the first match by six wickets with a four off the last ball and the third match between the teams is at Eden Park on Sunday.

“It was a great win for Australia,” captain Mitch Marsh said.“Our backs were against the wall and we thought we were probably 50 runs short.

“But the way our bowlers came out and performed was outstanding. All of our teams over the last 12 months have been backed into a lot of corners and we've managed to find a way to get out of them. Tonight was another example of that.”

Australia looked to have fallen short of a competitive total when it was bowled out for 174 in 19.5 overs after being 72-1 at the end of the six-over power play.

Opener Travis Head blasted 45 from 22 balls including five sixes to give Australia a fast start as it batted after losing the toss. But Lockie Ferguson took 4-12 and Ben Sears 2-29 as the New Zealand seamers turned things around and provoked a sustained collapse of the Australian innings.

Australia lost six wickets for 59 runs in the last 9.5 overs.

New Zealand's batting was depleted by the loss of Rachin Ravindra just before the start of play with a slight knee injury and Devon Conway suffered a thumb injury keeping wicket and was taken to hospital for X-rays. He returned to the ground when it was found there was no fracture.

Conway still was unable to bat and his opening partner Finn Allen had to take the gloves for the first time in his international career.

Regardless of injuries, New Zealand collapsed in the face of outstanding Australian fast bowling on a fast and bouncy wicket.

Allen hit a six from the third ball of the first over and was out to the last ball, walking down to a good length ball from Josh Hazlewood which he edged onto his stumps.

Will Young (5) was promoted to open and was out to a brilliant catch by wicketkeeper Matthew Wade. Young top-edged a ball from Pat Cummins which he had attempted to pull and Wade took a catch on the edge of the circle running back toward fine leg.

New Zealand captain Mitchell Santner promoted himself from his regular place at No. 7 to No. 3 in the order and was 7 when he chopped a short ball from Nathan Ellis onto his stumps.

Mark Chapman also fell to a short ball, slashing at a ball from Marsh which was caught by Tim David at mid-on. New Zealand was 29-4 and its hopes of saving the series looked over.

Glenn Phillips and Josh Clarkson put on 45 for the fifth wicket in a brief display of defiance. But Clakson was bowled by Adam Zampa when he was 10 and Adam Milne fell in the same fashion to the next ball. New Zealand was 74-6.

Head was impressive at the top of the Australian order, blasting 20 runs including two sixes from the first over of the match bowled by Trent Boult.

Boult was recalled to the New Zealand team for his first T20 international since November 2022 and hoped to win a place in the Black Caps squad for the World Cup. But his four overs cost 49 runs and his selection chances have dimmed. Boult is no longer a New Zealand contracted player but plays in T20 leagues around the world.

Australia also made lineup changes, naming Steve Smith to open with Head in place of David Warner who played in the first match at Wellington. Wade came in for Matt Short and Ellis for Mitchell Starc.

Smith was out in the third over for 11 but Head kept up a savage attack which carried Australia to 50 from 24 balls.

Head finally was out in the seventh over when the total was 85-2. From then on the Australian batting effort waned and Ferguson was the main cause, producing some extraordinary fast bowling.

He was backed up by Sears and by Adam Milne, who took 2-40. Those players have solidified their places in New Zealand's World Cup squad.

Marsh made 26 from 21 balls before falling to Santner who took 2-35 and Cummins made a valuable 28 from 22 balls before being caught by Ferguson off Milne's bowling.

Brief scores

Australia: 174 all out

New Zealand: :02 all out

Australia win by 72 runs

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