Australia creates new world record in T20I history

[caption id="attachment_63114" align="aligncenter" width="580"]D-Arcy-Short D’Arcy Short leads remarkable batting effort as David Warner’s men chase down New Zealand’s 243/6 with five wickets in hand. Image Source: ICC[/caption]

XtraTime Desk: Martin Guptill became the leading run-scorer in Twenty20 International cricket, marking the occasion with a career-best 105 off 54 balls in his 73rd match.

However, in a battle of openers at Eden Park in Auckland on Friday (16 February), he and Colin Munro were overshadowed by D’Arcy Short and David Warner as Australia pulled off the highest T20I chase, reaching the target of 244 with five wickets and seven balls to spare.

New Zealand now have to wait till 18 February when they take on England to decide who will join Australia, who have an all-win record, in the final of the triangular T20I series.

Guptill equalled Brendon McCullum’s record of 2,140 T20I runs with a four off Billy Stanlake in the 12th over, and finished the day on top of the charts with 2,188 career runs in the format. His manic 132-run opening stand set up New Zealand’s 243/6, their joint-best in T20Is, after they chose to bat. Australia replied with their own first-wicket partnership of 121, and with contributions down the order and the pressure telling on the home bowlers, reached a remarkable 245/5 in 18.5 overs.

Early in the chase, Short saw thick edges race away to – and over – the boundary. Warner, taking slightly longer to settle in, opened up with a couple of shots into the crowd in the fifth over, punishing Ben Wheeler for wayward bowling.

New Zealand had 67 in their first six overs. Australia ensured they were way ahead: their Powerplay yielded 91 and the team hundred came in 7.1 overs with a well struck four by Warner.

Warner’s half-century came off 20 balls with a boundary clipped behind square. Four balls later, he swung and missed an Ish Sodhi googly.

Guptill, having dropped Chris Lynn on nine, redeemed himself by taking the catch off Colin de Grandhomme to send him back on 18. But with an increasingly assured Short and Glenn Maxwell in the middle, there was no let up. Even the slightest errors in length from the bowlers were punished – although the New Zealanders did themselves no favours by conceding 20 extras.

Maxwell, having made a brilliant 31 off just 14 balls, saw his stumps disturbed by Tim Southee. But Wheeler couldn’t keep up the pressure on the new batsman, Aaron Finch, and a difficult day for him, where he conceded 64 in 3.1 overs, ended with him being taken off for bowling two no-balls.

Short, Player of the Match for his 76 off 44, which included three sixes and eight fours, fell in the 17th over – a top-edge caught by Tim Seifert, which gave Trent Boult a much deserved wicket. But Finch (36 not out off 14) ensured there were no more twists in the game, finishing things off with his third six of the match.

Earlier, Guptill began with a boundary off the first ball and never stepped off the pedal.

He got the first of his nine sixes in the second over, smashing Stanlake down the ground. He dominated in the Powerplay, with a six over long-off bringing up the team fifty in just 28 balls.

The two openers brought up their half-centuries within two balls of each other in the 10th over, both of them reaching the landmark with sixes off Short – Guptill’s over’s mid-wicket in the 30th ball of his innings, Munro going down the ground for his fifty off 27 balls.

Munro, attempting his fourth six in a row off Andrew Tye, finally mistimed one to give Maxwell, running to his left, a catch in the deep. His 33-ball 76 included six fours and as many over the rope.

Guptill, though, took over again. His second T20I century, brought up when he dispatched a bouncer to the ropes, came off 49 balls – the fastest by a New Zealander.

His wicket – he was caught by Maxwell in the deep off a full toss from Tye – helped the visitors keep the total to below 250. New Zealand lost three wickets for five runs but Ross Taylor’s cameo pushed the total past 240 even as they were left ruing the stutter towards the end.

With ICC Inputs

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