• SportFM

Australia squares T20 series



Australia has levelled the T20 series with New Zealand 2-2, spin bowlers Ashton Agar, Adam Zampa and Glenn Maxwell sharing six wickets between them in the visitors 50 run triumph in Wellington on Friday.


Earlier skipper Aaron Finch produced the innings of the match, carrying his bat to make an unbeaten 79 to lead his team past 150 on a sluggish surface that offered the spinners plenty of assistance.


Finch was the only batsman to pass 20 in a stuttering Australian batting effort, blasting four sixes from the final over bowled by Kyle Jamieson to give the visitors a defendable total.


Glenn Maxwell (18 off 9) and Marcus Stoinis (19 from 13) both made cameos but fell without making sizeable contributions, both men with a half century to their name so far in the series.


Finch's second half century in as many matches included his 100th six in the shortest format, adding 42 with Jhye Richardson after at one stage falling to 6-114.


Spin suffocated New Zealand's chase, falling behind the run rate early thanks to an economical start from left arm spinner Agar, claiming the key wicket of Martin Guptill in his third over.


Kane Richardson forced Tim Seifert to chop on to his stumps having made 19 as the run rate stalled, Maxwell taking the key wicket of Kane Williamson in his first over.


From there the innings fell apart as the Black Caps were at one point 7-64, never in the hunt for their target of 157 as they were bowled out for 106.


They only reached three figures thanks to a late cameo from Jamieson, who made 30 from 18 balls having earlier conceded 49 runs from his four overs with the ball, just one wicket to his name so far in the series.


Agar claimed 2-11 from his four overs, Zampa (2-24) and Maxwell (2-14) also playing their part while the more senior Richardson finished the most successful bowler with 3-19.


It sets up a series decider between the countries on Sunday at the same venue, crowds allowed to return for the contest after a recent easing of restrictions in New Zealand.


IMAGE: NDTV Sports.