After facing two heavy defeats from Australia at an empty Sky Stadium, New Zealand came back strongly in the series decider on Sunday with the crowd roaring in favour of the home side. The Black Caps regained their confidence amid the presence of the fans and defeated Australia in the fifth T20I to win the Trans-Tasman series by 3-2.
After opting to bat, Australia could only manage to post 142/8 on the scoreboard in their allotted 20 overs, thanks to disciplined bowling by Kiwis. Matthew Wade, who struggled to score runs in the whole series, smashed his team’s maximum in the Sunday afternoon fixture.
The wicketkeeper-batsman contributed 44 from 29 deliveries and formed a crucial partnership of 66-runs with skipper Aaron Finch for the second wicket. Finch was the second-highest scorer for the visitors, with 36 off 32 balls. All-rounder Marcus Stoinis also made a valuable contribution by making 26 as the touring side scored 142 with the loss of eight wickets.
Ish Sodhi was again the pick of the bowlers for the hosts after he bagged as many as three wickets for 24 in his quota of 4 overs. Apart from Sodhi, Tim Southee and Trent Boult took two scalps each, while Mark Chapman earned one wicket.
In reply, New Zealand had a tremendous start as the pair of Devon Conway, and Martin Guptill added 106-runs for the opening wicket to completely demolish Australia’s hopes for making a comeback in the game.
Although Aussie pacer Riley Meredith picked up two in two balls after he dismissed Conway (36) and Kane Williamson (0), but it was too late for the tourists to bounce back in the contest. Guptill went on to score 71 from 46 deliveries laced up with seven fours and four sixes as the home team chased down the target in 15.3 overs with seven wickets in hand.
Guptill was named Player of the Match, while Sodhi, who bagged 13 wickets in the series, was given the Player of the Series award.
Here is how Twitter reacted:
New Zealand wins the T20 series, beating Australia today by 7 wickets. A tough match this one for the Aussies. But huge congratulations to the Kiwis. A great series. #NZvAUS
— Chloe-Amanda Bailey (@ChloeAmandaB) March 7, 2021
So great to have perfect conditions and see a series win!#NZvAUS
— Sky Stadium (@skystadium) March 7, 2021
New Zealand have claimed the T20I series 3-2 over Australia.
— bet365 AUS (@bet365_aus) March 7, 2021
Highest strike rate against spin in T20I history (min 500 runs):
1. C. Munro: 158
2. A. Finch: 156
3. G. Maxwell: 153
4. S. Watson: 152
Top four exclusively comprised of New Zealand & Australian players.#NZvAUS
— The CricViz Analyst (@cricvizanalyst) March 6, 2021
— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) March 7, 2021
How wonderful is it to see crowds in the stadium? 😍
— Wisden India (@WisdenIndia) March 7, 2021
Not sure this #NZvAUS series helped much re WCT20 selection given few actually played. From this squad I think Marsh is out & Tanveer, won’t get a look. Then you need to find spots for Warner, Smith, Starc & Cummins so McDermott & Stoinis look shaky
— Brett Graham (@worldofBG) March 7, 2021
6/30 – Ashton Agar (G3)
4/28 – Ish Sodhi (G1)
4/31 – Mitchell Santner (G2)
3/19 – Kane Richardson (G4)
— 🏏Flashscore Cricket Commentators (@FlashCric) March 7, 2021
Most wickets in T20I bilateral series (max: 5 matches):-
13 – I SODHI🇳🇿 v AUS in 2021
11 – A Malik🇳🇱 v NEP in 2015
11 – R Khan🇦🇫 v IRE in 2019
11 – M Santner🇳🇿 v ENG in 2019
Sodhi's 13 are also highest by a New Zealand player in any T20I series (bilateral/touranament).#NZvAUS
— Kausthub Gudipati (@kaustats) March 7, 2021
New Zealand win the game and the series 👏
— ICC (@ICC) March 7, 2021
— Sritama (Ross Taylor’s version) (@cricketpun_duh) March 7, 2021
Congratulations NZ for the series win. No doubt that 142 was less and I think the pitch was for both bowlers and batsmen. Finch and Wade scored good and no t20 finsih was there. The bowlers also gave runs…#NZvAUS pic.twitter.com/7LmjgGLF8k
— Nikhil B (@nikhil_positive) March 7, 2021
King Kane Williamson achievements in last 6 months under his captaincy
First time @Blackcaps reached 1st place in their 90 years of test history
First Kiwi player to reach 919 rating
First ever T20 series win against Australia in 15 years
— STEADY (@SteadyTheShip) March 7, 2021
Coasting to an easy match Win and convincing 3-2 Series victory. Well done @BLACKCAPS 👏 Played with class. Good fight back by AUS but Kiwis played better in all areas. 🏏 #NZvAUS #NZvsAUS #T20 #WIN https://t.co/yQvWN1orzA
— Amar Trivedi (@Mr_Madness) March 7, 2021
Been very much an all or nothing approach from Aus in this T20 series vs NZ. Inconsistent to the extreme. #NZvAus
— Rahul Puri (@rahulpuri) March 7, 2021