Australia fell at the last hurdle on their T20 tour of New Zealand, coming from two games down only to lose Sunday’s draw by seven goals.
Martin Guptill backed the Black Hats past Australia 142-8, which looked less than a competitive total. The opener smashed a three-point six from Adam Zampa’s one stroke – including one out of the stadium and onto the roof of Wellington’s “Tin Cake” – on his way to 71.
Conway, appointed to open batting at the expense of Team Seifert, helped the pair forge a century-long partnership of 36 runs alone.
Riley Meredith gave Australia hope when he knocked out Conway and captain Kane Williamson caught the ball next. At Meredith’s next over, Guptill asserted his authority with a straight shot that shot past the Tasmanian a few centimeters.
Guptill managed to escape Jhye Richardson’s bowling soon after, but the damage was done, New Zealand winning with 27 balls remaining. Spinners Ashton Agar and Adam Zampa could do nothing about the decider after their efforts to help Australia return to the draw.
Australia will regret their own stuttering after winning the throw and choosing to hit.
A promising powerplay made way for a mid-inning squeeze, with Williamson throwing the ball into half-time Glenn Phillips and Mark Chapman, the latter being put aside for ailing Kyle Jamieson.
Matthew Wade scored the top goal with 44, ending his miserable run with this tour bat. Finch (36), Marcus Stoinis (26) and Mitch Marsh (10) are the only ones to score doubles.
Josh Philippe was lifted into the opening position but looked uncomfortable before being framed by Trent Boult, while Maxwell found the winger with his first great effort. Finch is brought down in the 32nd minute but cuts straight through Ish Sodhi to show two balls later.
Sodhi – who was crowned man of the series – took the wickets from Stoinis and Ashton Agar with full throws over the 18th straight.
After losing in a draw, Australia did not stay in the New Zealand capital – chartered a flight home on Sunday evening.
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