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Australia thrash New Zealand to secure T20 series win

Adam Zampa took 4-34 as Australia thrashed New Zealand by 72 runs in the second T20I to wrap a series victory with a match to spare in Auckland.

Australia were bowled out for 174 after losing the toss and batting first, with Ewen Ferguson (4-12) helping New Zealand recover from conceding 115 runs in the first half of the innings.

New Zealand’s batting line-up was depleted when Devon Conway suffered a thumb injury keeping wicket and was unable to bat, with Australia’s pace attack ripping through the top order to leave the hosts 29-4.

Australia's Josh Hazlewood celebrates after taking the wicket of New Zealand's Finn Allen, left, during the T20 cricket international between Australia and New Zealand at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand, Friday, Feb. 23, 2024. (Andrew Cornaga/Photosport via AP)
Image: Josh Hazlewood (1-12) impressed for Australia

Glenn Phillips top-scored for the hosts with 42, who were dismissed for 102 in the 17th over, as Australia – who claimed a six-wicket win in the first match after a final-ball boundary, moved 2-0 up in the three-match series.

How Australia secured series win

Steve Smith, opening with Travis Head in place of David Warner, was out in the third over for 11 but Head kept up a savage attack which carried Australia to 50 from 24 balls.

Head blasted 45 from 22 deliveries – including five sixes – before being bowled in the seventh over by Ben Sears (2-29), who also removed Glenn Maxwell in his next over.

Mitchell Marsh made 26 from 21 balls before falling to New Zealand captain Mitchell Santner (2-35) and Pat Cummins made a valuable 28 from 22 balls before being caught by Ferguson off Adam Milne’s bowling.

Ferguson cleaned up the Australia tail by dismissing Zampa and Josh Hazlewood in successive deliveries, with the visitors losing their last six wickets for 59 runs in the last 9.5 overs.

Finn Allen (6) edged onto the stumps in the opening over and Will Young top-edged Cummins to produce a brilliant catch from Matthew Wade, while Santner – promoted to No 3 – chopped a short ball from Ellis onto his stumps.

Australia's Josh Hazlewood celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of New Zealand's Finn Allen during the T20 cricket international between Australia and New Zealand at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand, Friday, Feb. 23, 2024. (Andrew Cornaga/Photosport via AP)
Image: Josh Hazlewood removed Finn Allen in the opening over of New Zealand’s innings

Mark Chapman also fell to a short ball, slashing a ball from Marsh to Tim David at mid-on, before Phillips and Josh Clarkson put on 45 for the fifth wicket in a brief display of defiance from the hosts.

Clakson was bowled by Zampa when he was 10 and Milne fell in the same fashion to the next ball, with Boult (16) – recalled to the New Zealand T20 team for the first time since November 2022 – the last of Zampa’s four-wicket haul.

Ferguson was bowled by Ellis with the final ball of the 17th over, leaving New Zealand all out with Conway unable to bat due to injury.

“It was a great win for Australia,” captain Marsh said. “Our backs were against the wall and we thought we were probably 50 runs short.

“But the way our bowlers came out and performed was outstanding. All of our teams over the last 12 months have been backed into a lot of corners and we’ve managed to find a way to get out of them. Tonight was another example of that.”

What’s next?

The final match of the T20 series takes place in Auckland on Sunday, where Australia will look to complete a series sweep, before a two-match Test series begins in Wellington on Thursday.

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Here is what you can look forward to next summer on Sky Sports Cricket, including T20 World Cups and The Hundred

The Men’s T20 World Cup takes place in West Indies and the United States of America this June, with England returning as defending champions for an event expanded to 20 teams. Australia are in the same group as England, Namibia, Scotland and Oman.

New Zealand are in the same group as the West Indies, Afghanistan, Uganda and Papua New Guinea. Watch the 2024 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup this June live on Sky Sports. Stream the best sport with NOW.

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