Black Caps win series-deciding T20 against Australia by seven wickets as Martin Guptill smashes 71 from 46 balls in fifth and final game; New Zealand reach target of 143 to complete 3-2 victory; further disappointment for Australia after missing out on World Test Championship final
Martin Guptill smashed 71 from 46 balls to power New Zealand to a seven-wicket victory over Australia in the T20I series decider in Wellington.
Guptill – who struck four sixes and seven fours – shared an opening partnership of 101 with Devon Conway (36) before Glenn Phillips (34no off 16) took the Kiwis to their target of 143 with 27 balls to spare, with his mighty six off Adam Zampa sealing his side’s victory.
New Zealand subsequently won the five-match series 3-2 as Australia’s miserable weekend was compounded – the tourists having missed out on a meeting with the Black Caps in June’s World Test Championship Final by virtue of India’s 3-1 Test series win over England.
Australia had rallied from going 2-0 down to New Zealand in the T20 series to level up the score at 2-2 following back-to-back wins in Wellington on Wednesday and Friday.
But their batting malfunctioned in the final overs at the same venue on Sunday before Guptill led New Zealand’s reply with the bat – the opener blazing the ninth over, bowled by Zampa, for 23 runs.
Australia were handily placed at 99-3 after 13 overs having elected to bat – Aaron Finch (36) and Matthew Wade (44) having put on 66 for the second wicket after the early exit of Josh Philippe (2).
However, Finch’s side lost five wickets and scored only 43 runs in the final seven overs to finish on 142-8 as Ish Sodhi (3-24), Trent Boult (2-26) and Tim Southee (2-38) picked up wickets at the backend.
Guptill and Conway – who had hit 97 and 99 respectively earlier in the series to help their side fashion a 2-0 lead – broke the back of the chase with their century stand, which was only snapped in the 12th over when Conway was caught at cover off Riley Meredith.
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson (0) was out next delivery for a golden duck, pinned lbw by Meredith, while Guptill perished at the start of the 15th over, caught at short fine leg off Jhye Richardson.
The Black Caps needed only 19 runs at that point and Phillips took them home, sweeping the first ball of Zampa’s 16th over for six and then striking the series-winning maximum over long-on to balls later.