Agar, Short lead Australia to comfortable victory in Tri-Series final
Australia 121-3 (Short 50) beat
New Zealand 150-9 (Taylor 43no) by 19 runs DLS method
Final Twenty20 International, Tri-Series, Auckland
Ashton Agar picked a three-wicket haul while D'Arcy Short slammed a quick fifty as Australia managed to beat New Zealand by 19 runs by DLS method in the rain-hit Twenty20 International Tri-Series final in Auckland.
Also, the result meant, Australia ended the tournament undefeated while New Zealand, who barely managed to reach the final edging out England, was dented by a batting failure that saw them lose eight wickets for 62 runs. The win has also taken Australia to the top position in the T20I rankings.
Both David Warner (25) and Short (50) started the chase cautiously scoring just 23 runs in the first four overs but the latter opened up in the final two overs of the powerplay smashing two boundaries and three sixes to take Australia to 55 for naught in the first six overs.
A brief spell of rain delayed the proceedings for 20 minutes and with two more fours, Short went on to reach his second T20I fifty.
New Zealand made a brief comeback when they removed both the openers with Munro (1-18) and Ish Sodhi (1-21) being the wicket-takers and Agar (2) was stumped off Santner (1-29).
However, Glenn Maxwell (20 not out) and Aaron Finch (18 not out) consolidated the innings with an unbeaten 37 run stand and got the required run rate under control.
When Australia needed 31 off the final 32 deliveries, rain once again arrived but this time did not relent for any further play and with the visitors ahead int he DLS target, they went on to win the encounter with ease.
Earlier, New Zealand won the toss and decided to bat first and it looked like another huge total was on the cards with Colin Munro (29) and Martin Guptill (21) toying around the Australian new ball attack.
The duo plundered five boundaries and two sixes in the first four overs as Black Caps raced to 46 runs without losing a wicket. Guptill, who had two half-centuries and a century in the last three games was the first to fall when he chipped a Billy Stanlake (1-37) delivery to mid off.
In the next over, Munro was caught at long-on to give Kane Richardson (2-30) his first wicket and New Zealand ended the powerplay with a score of 63 for two.
The introduction of Agar (3-27) further dented New Zealand's momentum as he claimed the wickets of Kane Williamson (9), Mark Chapman (8) and Colin de Grandhomme (10) in his first two overs to reduce the hosts to 92 for five at the halfway mark.
Things went from bad to worse for New Zealand as Andrew Tye (2-30) also returned among the wicket-takers removing Mitchell Santner (0) and Ish Sodhi (13) before Ross Taylor (43 not out) played a responsible 38-ball unbeaten knock to help New Zealand recover from 110 for eight to 150 in the 20 overs.
Agar was the pick of the Australian bowlers with three wickets while Richardson and Tye snared two wickets apiece. Australia though will be concerned about the fitness of Chris Lynn, who dislocated his shoulder while fielding.
© Cricket World 2018