Eden Park is well known for it’s small boundaries, specially the straight ones. Batsmen from both teams were in superb flow when New Zealand gave a huge target of 244 and Australia ended up chasing it easily with 7 balls to spare.
What a game we’ve had at Eden Park! Australia pull off the biggest successful run chase in T20I history to beat New Zealand by 5 wickets in a classic! #NZvAUS scorecard ➡ https://t.co/Cidk6uRryy pic.twitter.com/RQm52tEXev
— ICC (@ICC) February 16, 2018
Kane Williamson won the toss and elected to bat first. His decision was backed by excellent opening partnership by Guptil and Munro. Both the kiwi openers were in tremendous hitting form and they struck 132 run opening partnership in just 11.4 overs. Colin Munro smacked first three balls of 12th over for sixes and then holing out on the fourth ball.
Martin Guptil went on to score century and eventually departed after scoring 105 for 54 balls including 6 fours and 9 towering sixes. However, Kiwis looked set for a much bigger target but Aussie bowlers were superb in last 4 overs conceding just 38 runs. The overs between 17-19 just went for 19 runs and that turned out to be the difference between two teams.
However, 243 still looked more than enough as no side has ever chased this much. Australia started the chase beautifully with David Warner finding the form and D’Arcy Short’s scratchy shots getting decent runs. The powerplay went for 91 runs and Australia really looked on song through out.
Both openers scored rapid half centuries, with Maxwell following in with a 14 ball 31 following up his superb form throughout the tournament. At the end , Aaron Finch ended the match with a huge six putting an end to the misery of Kiwi bowlers. Half centuries from both openers and quick 30+ by Finch and Maxwell capped the most dominant performance by Aussies.
Young bowler Ben Wheeler was taken apart by Aussies, as he gave away 64 runs in 3.1 overs before being taken out. His spell eventually ended following 2 waist high no balls after which he wasn’t allowed to bowl for the rest of the innings. His spell was cut short otherwise he would have ended in record book for most runs conceded by a bowler in T20i. The current record is 69 in 4 overs by BJ McCarthy of Ireland against Afghanistan.
In the process, Australia managed to break record for highest run chase in history of T20 internationals.
Australia now leads the tri series with 4 wins out of 4. New Zealand have just 1 win to their name, and England are yet to win a game. The New Zealand vs England game on Sunday will decide the second finalist. New Zealand may still reach finals even if they lose against England on basis of net run rate.