New Zealand defeated Australia by 53 runs in the first T20I of the five-match series at Hagley Oval in Christchurch. Devon Conway was the main hero for the hosts, scoring an unbeaten 99 off 59 deliveries, barely missing the chance for a last-ball hundred as New Zealand posted 184/5 in their allotted 20 overs.
In reply, the visitors’ top order collapsed as Australia were bundled out for 131 in 17.3 overs. Out-of-form captain Aaron Finch (1), debutant Josh Philippe (2), wicket-keeper batsman Matthew Wade (12) and all-rounder Glenn Maxwell (1) were all dismissed in the first five overs.
Kiwi pacers Trent Boult (2/22) and Tim Southee (2/10) ran through Australia’s batting unit, leaving them at 19/4. All-rounder Mitchell Marsh (45) made his top score in the shortest format, while Ashton Agar contributed with 23 runs. However, it wasn’t enough to take their side over the finish line.
Earlier, the home side were also in deep trouble after losing their three wickets for 19 in four overs. Then, Conway and Glenn Phillips (30) steadied the ship and added a crucial 74-run stand for the fourth wicket before Marcus Stoinis (1/17) removed Phillips.
On the other hand, Conway kept on scoring runs from the other end to make sure Black Caps crosses the 180-run benchmark. He smashed 10 fours and three sixes in his scintillating knock.
Here is how Twitter reacted:
Congrats NZ on a wonderful win, totally outplayed Australia in all departments. We know it’s experiment time over there for the Aussies – but still an extremely odd batting order as most people batted out of position !
— Shane Warne (@ShaneWarne) February 22, 2021
Devon Conway is just 4 days late, but what a knock 👏👏👏 #AUSvNZ
— Ashwin 🇮🇳 (@ashwinravi99) February 22, 2021
— Chloe-Amanda Bailey (@ChloeAmandaB) February 22, 2021
Unbeaten on 99 in T20 Internationals
Luke Wright v Afg Colombo 2012
Dawid Malan v SA Cape Town 2020
Mohd Hafeez v NZ Hamilton 2020
Devon Conway v Aus Christchurch 2021
Three of the four knocks coming in the last three months.#NZvAUS
— Deepu Narayanan (@deeputalks) February 22, 2021
Conway brilliant, double pressure for the Australia batting line up now, tough score and also proving a point for spots for the up coming T20 WC. #NZvAUS
— Brad Hogg (@Brad_Hogg) February 22, 2021
Devon Conway's last 3 T20 innings
— Michael Wagener (@Mykuhl) February 22, 2021
Devon Conway finishes 99* 😩
The bloke deserved a ton after a phenomenal innings at the Hagley Oval… pic.twitter.com/3BBfV23hZP
— Cricket on BT Sport (@btsportcricket) February 22, 2021
Every game Devon Conway isn’t picked for NZ, in any of the three forms, is just runs going to waste. Bloke is totally at home at international level.
— Jason Pine (@pineynz) February 22, 2021
Devon Conway and Ish Sodhi both were left out by IPL franchises in this year's auction turns out to be the stars of the first T20i. Conway scored a magnificent 99* and Ish Sodhi picked 4/28. Conway too good to left out without an IPL contract, hard luck for him.
— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) February 22, 2021
5 – Devon Conway has now struck 5 successive knocks worth 50+ in T20 cricket (4 for @cricketwgtninc & 1 for @BLACKCAPS); posting scores of 50, 69*, 91*, 93* & 99*. Supreme. #NZvAUS pic.twitter.com/WUaEixlb3n
— OptaJim (@OptaJim) February 22, 2021
Crowds 👀 😍 https://t.co/64uVoQe4YD
— Danielle Wyatt (@Danni_Wyatt) February 22, 2021
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) February 22, 2021
Most consecutive innings without a duck in Men's T20Is:
84* – MS Dhoni
71* – David Miller
69 – Martin Guptill (Streak ended today)#NZvAUS
— ESPNcricinfo stats (@ESPNcric_stats) February 22, 2021
One of the great NZ innings from Conway. 99 Not out, and half of it with one hand. #NZvAUS
— Scotty Stevenson (@sumostevenson) February 22, 2021
Fraud Glenn Maxwell out😭
— Shubham. (@TheOval127) February 22, 2021
— Melinda Farrell (@melindafarrell) February 22, 2021
Devon Conway is averaging 402 runs in T20s in the past four weeks. Conway struck 10 fours and three sixes at Hagley Oval, but it was his sharp running between the wickets that reversed the momentum. #NZvENG
— Sam Landsberger 🗯 (@SamLandsberger) February 22, 2021