Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Ashton Agar took three wickets and D’Arcy Short smashed an entertaining 50 as Australia defeated New Zealand by 19 runs via the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method in the T20 tri-series final in Auckland.
Choosing to bat first, New Zealand made a good start to their innings as Martin Guptill and Colin Munro amassed a 48-run partnership before Guptill was dismissed by Billy Stanlake for 21.
Munro went on to make 29 before he was caught by Agar at mid-on off the bowling of Kane Richardson.
Agar then proceeded to take out captain Kane Williamson and Mark Chapman in the space of three balls for nine and eight respectively.
Colin de Grandhomme became Agar’s third victim, while Andrew Tye removed Mitchell Santner for a golden duck.
With wickets continuing to fall, Ross Taylor came to the rescue for New Zealand as he smashed an unbeaten 43, which came off 38 balls and included two boundaries and a six, to help them finish on 150/9 off their 20 overs.
Agar was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets, while Tye and Richardson snapped up two wickets apiece. As for Stanlake and Marcus Stoinis, they chipped in with one wicket each.
Chasing 151 to win, Australia got off to a superb start as stand-in captain David Warner and Short forged a 72-run partnership, during which Short brought up his fifty.
Image courtesy of: Zimbio
However, he was unable to add to it as he was caught by Chapman at long-on off the bowling of Munro for 50, which came off 30 balls and included six boundaries and three sixes.
Warner went on to make a 23-ball 25 before he was clean bowled by Ish Sodhi.
Even though Agar fell shortly after, Glenn Maxwell and Aaron Finch began rebuilding the innings before the rain came when Australia were 30 runs away from victory.
With the rain refusing to relent, Australia were declared the winner.
Maxwell finished on 20 off 18 balls, which included a six, while Finch also struck a six during his 13-ball 18.
Williamson was gutted to have lost, and said: “Though in the middle we didn’t assess as well as we could have. There was a bit of scarring, and we probably thought we needed more. The rain probably didn’t affect the result, that’s just the way it goes. With the bat they were ultra-positive, we were looking to take wickets but weren’t able to do so.”
Warner was delighted to have won the tournament, and said: “Over the moon, from the get-go we played superb cricket, tried to execute everything with energy. We look back at the last 18-24 months, people talk about us not taking T20 seriously, but this bunch have come out of the BBL with superb form and I couldn’t be prouder of the guys. It proves the great depth in Australia cricket.”
Agar was named Man of the Match, and said: “Your length has to be perfect, whether you’re at the WACA or here. It was helpful to have a sight [on Friday], I couldn’t believe how small the ground was.”