Conway excels as New Zealand nail Australia in first T20

Published February 23, 2021
CHRISTCHURCH: New Zealand batsman Devon Conway sweeps past Australian wicket-keeper Matthew Wade during the first Twenty20 International at Hagley Oval on Monday.—AP
CHRISTCHURCH: New Zealand batsman Devon Conway sweeps past Australian wicket-keeper Matthew Wade during the first Twenty20 International at Hagley Oval on Monday.—AP

CHRISTCHURCH: A Devon Conway batting masterclass inspired New Zealand to a 53-run win over Australia in the opening Twenty20 International in Christchurch on Monday.

Conway smashed an unbeaten 99 off 59 balls as the Black Caps overcame a shaky start to finish on 184 for five after losing the toss and being put in to bat at the Hagley Oval.

In reply, the tourists were all out for 131 after 17.3 overs, with Black Caps spinner Ish Sodhi taking four wickets for 28 to give the hosts an early edge in the five-match series.

Australia captain Aaron Finch refused to blame the loss on his team’s two-week Covid-19 quarantine upon arrival in New Zealand.

“It feels like a long time since we played but we were treated brilliantly [in quarantine],” he said. “They just ran harder and we didn’t get it right.”

Jhye Richardson, fresh from signing a multi-million dollar Indian Premier League contract, was the pick of the Australian bowlers, taking two for 31.

But the tourists could not dislodge Conway, whose 59-ball knock included 10 fours and three sixes, helping the Black Caps bounce back from 19 for three.

Conway said he was ‘pretty chuffed’ with his career-best effort, even though he was stranded just short of a century after failing to take two runs off the final ball.

The South African-born batsman came to the crease with New Zealand teetering at 11 for two and was still settling in when captain Kane Williamson departed for 12.

“The key was to try to stay positive, that’s when I’m at my best,” man-of-the-match Conway said. “I was trying not to think too far ahead and just build good partnerships.”

The frustrated Australians then suffered a horror show early in their innings, as seamers Tim Southee and Trent Boult tore through the top order.

Luckless debutant Josh Philippe departed for two after sending a top-edge skyward. But old campaigners such as skipper Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell also failed to deal with the swinging ball and the tourists were soon four for 19.

Mitchell Marsh top-scored with 45 and Ashton Agar contributed 23 a string of batting failures gave New Zealand a comfortable win.

While trans-Tasman bragging rights are up for grabs, both teams also enter the series with one eye on the T20 World Cup in India later this year.

Established Australian stars such as Steve Smith, David Warner and Mitchell Starc are being rested as selectors look to unearth new talent.

New Zealand have a more settled line-up, though veteran opening batsman Martin Guptill will be under pressure after his poor run of form continued with a duck in the opening over.

The Black Caps may turn to uncapped Finn Allen for the next match in Dunedin on Thursday.

Scoreboard

NEW ZEALAND:

M.J. Guptill c Agar b Sams 0 T.L. Seifert b J. Richardson 1 K.S. Williamson c Wade b Sams 12 D.P. Conway not out 99 G.D. Phillips c Marsh b Stoinis 30 J.D.S. Neesham c Wade b J. Richardson 26 M.S. Santner not out 7

EXTRAS (LB-2, LB-3, W-4) 9

TOTAL (for five wkts, 20 overs) 184

DID NOT BAT: K.A. Jamieson, T.G. Southee, I.S. Sodhi, T.A. Boult.

FALL OF WKTS: 1-0, 2-11, 3-19, 4-93, 5-140.

BOWLING: Sams 4-0-40-2 (1w; Zampa

3-0-20-0; J.A. Richardson 4-0-31-2 (1w); K.W. Richardson 4-0-42-0; Agar 2-0-20-2; Stoinis 2-0-17-1; Maxwell 1-0-9-0.

AUSTRALIA:

M.S. Wade c Williamson b Boult 12 A.J. Finch c Conway b Southee 1 J.R. Philippe c Conway b Boult 2 M.R. Marsh c Santner b Jamieson 45 G.J. Maxwell c Neesham b Southee 1 M.P. Stoinis c and b Sodhi 8 A.C. Agar c Jamieson b Sodhi 23 D.R. Sams c Jamieson b Sodhi 1 J.A. Richardson st Seifert b Santner 11 K.W. Richardson c Neesham b Sodhi 5 A. Zampa not out 13

EXTRAS (LB-1, W-7, NB-1) 9

TOTAL (all out, 17.3 overs) 131

FALL OF WKTS: 1-3, 2-8, 3-16, 4-19, 5-56, 6-98, 7-99, 8-99, 9-108.

BOWLING: Southee 3-0-10-2 (1w); Boult

3-0-22-2 (2w); Jamieson 3-0-32-1 (1w); Neesham 1-0-9-0; Sodhi 4-0-28-4 (1nb); Santner3.3-0-29-1 (3w).

RESULT: New Zealand won by 53 runs to lead five-match series 1-0.

UMPIRES: C.B. Gaffaney (New Zealand) and C.M. Brown (New Zealand).

TV UMPIRE: W.R. Knights (New Zealand).

MATCH REFEREE: J.J. Crowe (New Zealand).

MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: Devon Conway.

NEXT MATCH: Dunedin, Thursday (6:00am PST).

Published in Dawn, February 23rd, 2021

Opinion

Discipline and punish

Discipline and punish

The larger issue is that many within the police and the state view the role of the police as not one of service but of control.
The truly worrying malware
Updated 27 Jul 2021

The truly worrying malware

It’s excessive to hope that governments will surrender even when caught with their hands on the till.
Appointing VCs
27 Jul 2021

Appointing VCs

For VCs of yore, it was more than a job assignment.
Giving peace a chance
Updated 26 Jul 2021

Giving peace a chance

So long as Afghan government forces do not collapse in the face of the Taliban’s military assaults, diplomacy will have a chance.

Editorial

AJK’s ugly elections
Updated 27 Jul 2021

AJK’s ugly elections

All party leaders focused on insulting their rivals instead of talking about issues concerning the AJK electorate.
27 Jul 2021

Refugee concerns

AS Afghanistan slips back into chaos with a rapid Taliban advance, the possibility of refugees spilling over into...
27 Jul 2021

ECP vacancies

FEARS of yet another deadlock between the PTI government and the opposition on the selection of successors for...
26 Jul 2021

Senior citizens’ law

FOR all the cultural emphasis on respect and consideration for our elders, the state itself extends little by way of...
26 Jul 2021

Grim Covid realities

YET another grim milestone was reached last week when we became the 30th country in the world to mark a million...
Islamophobia envoy
Updated 26 Jul 2021

Islamophobia envoy

By calling for the appointment of a special envoy to counter Islamophobia, US lawmaker Ilhan Omar has raised a pertinent issue.