What could have been a miraculous victory for the Aussies ended with an anti-climax as New Zeland beat its arch-rivals by four runs in the second T20I on Thursday.
After asking the Kiwis to bat on the flat deck at Dunedin, Australia took the game to the final over but Jimmy Neesham outfoxed the Aussies to take his side home.
The Guptill-Williamson show
New Zealand got off to a relatively slow start. Tim Sierfert was dismissed early on in the innings by Kane Richardson. However, once Kane Williamson arrived, everything went against the Aussies. Martin Guptill fell 3 run short of a fantastic T20I hundred and Williamson scored a quickfire fifty.
Rest was handled by Jimmy Neesham who smashed 45 off just 16 balls and took the total to 219. In reply, Australia started off slowly and completely lost their way after a few overs. Skipper Aaron Finch had another horrible outing with the bat and was dismissed after scoring 12 off 14 balls.
The big names disappointed the Australian fans as Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Marsh were dismissed cheaply. Mitchell Santner bowled brilliantly during the middle overs and reduced the Aussies to 215/8. Santner returned with the amazing figures of 31/4.
Almost a miracle
However, when Australia looked completely down and out, all-rounders Marcus Stoinis and Daniel Sams started hitting the bowlers out of the park for fun. After a brilliant 92 run stand for the 7th Wicket, Sams and Stoinis were dismissed by Neesham in the final over.
Australia did everything to stay in the contest but just couldn't get over the line in the final over. Martin Guptill was awarded man of the match for his excellent 97 of just 50 balls. The next game will be played at Wellington on March 3 and the Australians would be desperately hoping to get over the Kiwis this time.