Australia win rain-hit T20 to sweep series against New Zealand

Published February 26, 2024
Australia players pose as they celebrate winning the series 3-0 after the third Twenty20 international cricket match between New Zealand and Australia at Eden Park in Auckland on February 25, 2024. — AFP
Australia players pose as they celebrate winning the series 3-0 after the third Twenty20 international cricket match between New Zealand and Australia at Eden Park in Auckland on February 25, 2024. — AFP

AUCKLAND: A “clinical” Austr­alia beat New Zealand by 27 runs in the rain-shortened third Twenty20 Int­ernational in Auckland on Sunday to complete a clean sweep of the series.

Responding to Australia’s 118-4 from 10.4 overs, New Zealand scored 98-3, falling short of a target adjusted to 126 off 10 overs under the Duck­worth-Lewis-Stern method at Eden Park.

The required run-rate grew quickly after the home side lost two quick wickets before Glenn Phillips posted their top score for the second straight game, finishing on 40 not out off 24 balls.

Australian pace bowler Spe­n­cer Johnson impressed in his first appearance of the series taking 1-10 off his two overs.

Three rain stoppages curtailed Australia’s innings after they were asked to bat first.

Opener Travis Head top scored with 33 off 30 balls but the most punishing batting was player of the match Matthew Short’s 27 off 11 balls and Glenn Maxwell’s 20 off nine.

Australia dominated the series, winning the opener by six wickets in Wellington on Wednesday, followed by a 72-run victory in game two in Auckland on Friday.

Wicket-keeper Matthew Wade, promoted to Australian captain after Mitch Marsh was rested for the final game, said the series was ideal preparation ahead of the T20 World Cup in June.

“We wanted to have a look at the depth in our squad and we were lucky enough to do that today with Spencer and Matty Short,” Wade said.

“Our bowlers were unbelievable today, the way they came out and executed. It was as clinical a bowling effort as I’ve seen from an Australian outfit.

“For Matthew Short to come out and bat the way he did is really exciting for the future.”

New Zealand were not helped by injuries, which ruled out key batsmen Daryl Mitc­hell, Rachin Ravindra and Devon Conway at different stages of the series while veteran Kane Williamson was absent because of the birth of his child.

Captain Mitchell Santner would not use that as an excuse, saying Australia were simply too good.

“They’re obviously a quality side,” Santner said. “The first game was a close one but we were obviously outplayed in the last two.”

The first Test of a two-match series between the teams starts in Wellington on Thursday.

SCOREBOARD

AUSTRALIA:

T. Head c Sodhi b Santner 33

S. Smith c Seifert b Milne 4

M. Short c Seifert b Sears 27

G. Maxwell c Young b Clarkson 20

J. Inglis not out 14

T. David not out 8

EXTRAS (B-4, LB-2, W-6) 12

TOTAL (for four wickets, 10.4 overs) 118

DID NOT BAT: M. Wade (captain), M. Starc, N. Ellis, A. Zampa, S. Johnson

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-16 (Smith), 2-67 (Short), 3-95 (Maxwell), 4-99 (Head)

BOWLING: Boult 2-0-24-0; Milne 2-0-20-1; Sears 2-0-22-1 (1w); Sodhi 1.4-0-22-0; Santner 2-0-16-1 (1w); Clarkson 1-0-8-1

NEW ZEALAND:

F. Allen c Starc b Zampa 13

W. Young c Zampa b Short 14

T. Seifert c Inglis b Johnson 2

G. Phillips not out 40

M. Chapman not out 17

EXTRAS (B-6, LB-3, W-3) 12

TOTAL (for three wickets, 10 overs) 98

DID NOT BAT: J. Clarkson, M. Santner (captain), A. Milne, I. Sodhi, T. Boult, B. Sears

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-19 (Young), 2-29 (Seifert), 3-51 (Allen)

BOWLING: Starc 2-0-15-0; Short 2-0-33-1 (1w); Johnson 2-0-10-1 (2w); Zampa 2-0-20-1; Ellis 2-0-11-0

RESULT: Australia won by 27 runs (DLS method).

MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: Matthew Short

SERIES: Australia won three-match series 3-0.

MAN-OF-THE-SERIES: Mitchell Marsh

Published in Dawn, February 26th, 2024

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