Blackcaps v Australia: Australia tie series with crushing win in Wellington

  • 05/03/2021

Australia have coasted to their second consecutive dominant win over the Blackcaps in the fourth Twenty20 international in Wellington, tying the series at two wins apiece. 

Defending 156/6 after winning the toss, the visitors never let the NZ batsmen get going on a deceptively difficult pitch, dismissing them for just 106 to seal a 50-run victory.

Sunday's fifth and final match at the same venue will decide the series.

Captain Aaron Finch's unbeaten 79 helped the Australians battle through some testing early overs to set a sneakily competitive target against an effective Blackcaps bowling attack, which was led by the spin of Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner.

Finch's innings including a final over plundering of quick Kyle Jamieson, who was sent over the rope four times in the space of five balls to provide a huge boost to the Australian total.

In reponse, the Blackcaps batsmen struggled to find any rhythm, as Finch employed his spinners from the opening over to take advantage of the surprisingly large anount of turn in the Sky Stadium wicket.

Only three NZ batsmen reached double figures, as Adam Zampa (2/24) and Ashton Agar (2/11) feasted in the favourable conditions.

Devon Conway (17) and Tim Seifert (19) both got starts but never looked comfortable.

Kyle Jamieson's late salvo for 30 was the top score of the day, although the majority of those runs came with the game already out of reach.

With defeats by 53 and 60 runs in their last two outings against Australia, the Blackcaps may need to try a different approach on this troublesome Wellington wicket in the decider on Sunday.

At the very least, they will have the benefit of a partisan home crowd in their favour, with the Government's decision to reduce the COVID-19 alert from Sunday, 6am opening the gates for the return of fans.

Australia 156/6 (Aaron Finch 79no, Ish Sodhi 3/32)

New Zealand 106 (Kyle Jamieson 30, Kane Richardson 3/19)

Join us for live updates of the fifth T20 between the Blackcaps and Australia from Sunday 12pm