Tim David hit a four from the last ball of the match to give Australia a six-wicket win over New Zealand on Wednesday in the first Twenty20 international.

New Zealand made 215-3 batting first in an innings which included 13 sixes and 10 fours. Captain Mitch Marsh piloted Australia’s innings with an unbeaten 72 from 44 balls and was man of the match for his role in Australia’s third-highest successful run chase.

Australia beat New Zealand in first T20 2024
Photo: Australia beat New Zealand in first T20 2024

But David took over at the end, hitting two sixes and a four from the last three balls of the 19th over to leave Australia needing 16 runs from the last six balls.

Veteran seamer Tim Southee was given the responsibility of bowling the last over for New Zealand as the highest wicket-taker in T20 cricket.

His first two balls were wides, then there was a leg bye and Australia needed 12 from three balls. David came close to settling the issue when he just caught up with a ball from Southee heading down leg and hit a remarkable six behind square.

That left Australia needed six from two balls. Marsh and David ran two from the penultimate ball of the innings, leaving Australia needing a four to win with David on strike.

Southee bowled full and David clubbed the ball through the mid-wicket and just wide of Glenn Phillips’ despairing dive to the boundary. David finished 31 not out from only 10 balls.

“It was a very good wicket and I felt we were just on the run rate right through the innings,” Marsh said. “There was no doubt if we were going to chase down 216 we were going to need a bit of luck.

“That was just a great game of cricket to start the series. These two teams have played a lot of great games over time and it’s really nice to be on the right end of it tonight.”

Australia’s 216-4 was its third-highest successful run chase in T20s.

Earlier, Devon Conway and Rachin Ravindra put on 113 from 66 balls for the third wicket to lift New Zealand to 215-3 as it batted first.

Conway broke a form slump with an innings of 63 from 46 balls. It was Conway’s first half century in 23 innings across all formats.

Ravindra came into the New Zealand team as a placeholder for Kane Williamson who is absent awaiting the birth of his third child. He staked a strong claim for a place in New Zealand’s squad to the Twenty20 World Cup later this year, hitting six sixes in an innings of 68 from 35 balls.

The New Zealand innings was given an explosive start by Finn Allen who made 32 from 17 balls in a 66-run opening partnership with Conway. Glenn Phillips finished 19 not out, Mark Chapman 18 not out and every New Zealand batter hit at least one six.

New Zealand captain Mitchell Santner decided to bat on winning the toss on a new drop-in pitch at Sky Stadium.

Allen missed at times early in his innings but settled into his work and hit three sixes and two fours in an innings of only 17 balls.

He hit the first six of the match from the second over, bowled by Josh Hazlewood, then hit two sixes and 20 runs from the third over, bowled by Glenn Maxwell. Allen hit another off Pat Cummins in his first over which yielded 15 runs as New Zealand reached 50 from only 3.5 overs.

He was out inside inside the power play when New Zealand was on 62. After six overs it was 68-1.

The New Zealand run rate dropped a little after the power play as the Australian bowlers made good use off slower deliveries. But Conway and Ravindra stepped things up again and Conway reached his half century, his 10th in T20s and third against Australia, from 34 balls.

Ravindra followed him to a 50 from 29 balls amid a barrage of sixes. Ravindra was out to the last ball of the 16th over and Conway to the first ball of the next over.

Santner appeared to have produced a key play near the end when he bowled the 17th over, conceding only three runs and taking the wicket of Josh Inglis (20).

But David came to the crease, hit the ball out of the middle from the start and clinched the game for Australia.

“I thought we didn’t bowl too bad but the power they possess all the way down is the reason why they’re pretty good,” Santner said. “The only way to stop them is to take wickets and we didn’t really do that today.”

Source: AP News

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