Friday, March 18, 2016

World Cup T20 : New Zealand vs Australia

At the picturesque stadium of Dharamshala, its the match Down Under - Kiwis vs Kangaroos.

Having won the toss, the Kiwis decided to bat first & went off to a flier, both Guptill & skipper Kane Williamson blasting the Aussie attack for 58 runs in the powerplays.
However, Faulkner got Guptill holed out in the deep & then Maxwell claimed Kane & Corey Anderson, reducing the score to 79 for 3 in 11 overs. It was even stevens at that stage. But give the Aussies a small toe hold & they will force their way through. The bowling was disciplined & the fielding sharp, leaving the Kiwis gasping at 118 for 5 after 17 overs. The pitch looked like getting progressively slower, as the batters found shot making difficult.
It now needed some special batting by Ronchi & Elliott, to get them past 150 mark. But that was not to be, as the Australians kept their high standards on the field & New Zealand finally folded for 142 for 8 after 20 overs. An iffy target, keeping in mind, their previous game against India. They would need to bowl out of their skins to stop the marauding Australian batting.

Aussies started in whirlwind fashion, with Khawaja lacing boundaries at will, it was 44 without loss, when Watson gave away his wicket in the 6th over. The match turned on its head as the spinners started to take control. Australia started losing wickets regularly & when Maxwell fell at 100 for 5 in the 16th over, Kiwis looked back in the game.....& with a solid plan. Aussies needed 42 runs from the remaining 4 overs, & had a long batting line up to stand & deliver. However, the Kiwis were like red hot chillis, & kept picking wickets. The 19th over from McClenaghan was simply a dreamer's delight. He scalped Mitch Marsh & Agar for just 3 runs & left Aussies with 19 to get in the final over. Anderson kept his cool to get the hard hitting Faulkner out in the first delivery & then Coulter Nile fell on the second last ball.....In the end New Zealand overpowered the mighty Aussies by 8 runs. A significant victory for them & almost assuring a berth in the last 4. McClenaghan with figures of 3 for 17 in 3 overs was the obvious choice for the Man of Match.

I had earlier predicted this Black Cat Kiwis are capable of some major upsets in this tournament, & they look quietly getting into the right groove. They have now scalped two major favourites in India & Australia. In both the matches, they batted first & put a total that looked 20 odd runs short, but the bowlers came to the party & the fielders complimented to pocket these wins.