While the big teams have already secured a qualification berth for the Super 12 stage of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, they are currently participating in warm-up matches being played parallelly with the Round 1 fixtures. On Monday, Australia and New Zealand faced each other in what was a great game of cricket.
While New Zealand managed to post 158/7 batting first, Australia eventually reached their target in the final over with 3 wickets in hand and just a ball remaining. Both the sides went neck and neck till the end and finally it was the Kangaroos who tasted win in this fixture.
There were some superb brilliance on the field from both the teams – most notably, Steve Smith’s perfect pass to Ashton Agar to set up an easy catch for the latter. In the second innings, it was Martin Guptill’s amazing catch to dismiss David Warner in the first ball. However, Guptill’s effort ended up on the losing side.
Later, the International Cricket Council (ICC) shared a video of Steve Smith’s effort in the 5th ball of the 18th over with the caption, “Steve Smith, take a bow 👏 #T20WorldCup.”
Check out the video here:
While Smith’s effort was brilliant in its own way, Kiwi pacer Mitchell McClenaghan expressed his surprise at the fact that the ICC did not share a video of Martin Guptill’s amazing effort at the slips to send the Aussie opener back in the pavilion for a golden duck.
What was more impressive about Guptill’s effort was that there was hardly any reaction time while Smith did get a good look before attempting that pass to Agar who was near him at the fence.
Talking about the match though, captain Kane Williamson was the top scorer for New Zealand with the bat scoring 37. In addition, Daryl Mitchell, Guptill and James Neesham contributed with scores 33, 30 and 31 respectively. Kane Richardson (3/24) was the pick of the bowlers for Australia and also bowled that delivery which led to the effort from Smith and the dismissal of Santner.
For Australia, Smith scored 35 and eventually finishing touches from Agar and Mitchell Starc helped them cross the line. Santner (3/22) was the pick of the bowlers for New Zealand but could help his side defend 158.