Australia v New Zealand: Aussies jet home after pounding in T20 finale

Ben McKayAAP
VideoCricket: Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin needed less than 50 overs to spin India to a crushing innings victory against England in the Fourth Test.

Australia have fallen at the final hurdle in their T20 tour of New Zealand, losing the series decider by seven wickets.

Master blaster Martin Guptill powered the Black Caps past Australia’s 8-142, which looked short of a competitive total.

Guptill smashed three sixes off one Adam Zampa over - including one onto the roof of the ’The Cake Tin’ - on his way to a thumping 71.

His innings helped New Zealand chase down Australia’s innings with 27 balls to spare, handing Aaron Finch’s touring side a 3-2 series defeat.

“We weren’t aggressive enough with the bat ... we didn’t get enough runs,” Finch said.

“We kept losing wickets at regular intervals.

“A couple of us put a fair bit of time into our innings - 20, 30, 40 balls - to not go on with that, it was probably the difference in the game.”

Australia won the toss and made a promising start in the Wellington sunshine, making 1-47 from the powerplay.

Matthew Wade top scored with 44, ending his miserable run with the bat this tour, with Finch (36), Marcus Stoinis (26) and Mitch Marsh (10) the only others to reach double figures.

Matthew Wade and the Aussies copped a hammering.
Camera IconMatthew Wade and the Aussies copped a hammering. Credit: John Cowpland/AP

Josh Philippe (2), elevated to opener, was trapped lbw by Trent Boult while Glenn Maxwell (1) found a fielder with his first attempted slog.

Finch was gifted a life in his knock, dropped on 32, only to be out cutting Ish Sodhi to point two balls later.

Sodhi took the wickets of Stoinis and Ashton Agar from full tosses in the 18th over during an Australian collapse: their last seven overs produced just 34 runs for the loss of five wickets.

The Kiwis spinner finished with 3-24 on Sunday and a trophy for man of the series, taking 13 wickets at an average of 12.

Finch said he knew Australia’s total was below par.

Guptill made it look decidedly average, putting on a 106-run opening stand with Devon Conway which took the contest away from Australia.

Riley Meredith gave the Aussies hope in the 12th over when he removed Conway and trapped captain Kane Williamson lbw next ball for a golden duck.

In Meredith’s next over, Guptill asserted his authority with a booming straight drive that missed the Tasmanian bowler’s head by centimetres.

Guptill holed out off Jhye Richardson’s bowling soon after, but the damage was done.

Spinners Agar and Zampa went wicketless in the decider after their efforts helped Australia back into the series.

The match ended a trying month-long stay in New Zealand for Finch’s team, who began with a fortnight in quarantine and ended with three matches at Sky Stadium due to a COVID-19 outbreak in Auckland.

“It was an incredibly hard series with momentum shifts throughout,” Williamson said.

“We know how strong the Australian side is. They showed that in the last two games.

“We wanted to put out a much improved performance. It’s great to come away with the series win.”

Australia aren’t sticking around in New Zealand - scheduled to head home on a charter flight from Wellington airport just hours after the contest.

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