NZ defeat Australia in World T20 thriller

Saturday, 19 March 2016 00:47 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Untitled-2AFP: Recalled paceman Mitchell McClenaghan grabbed three crucial wickets and then thanked his team’s spinners Friday after New Zealand edged past Australia in a last over thriller at cricket’s World Twenty20.

A year on from the Black Caps’ heartache defeat to Australia in the 50 over World Cup final, New Zealand exacted revenge over their neighbours who were left to rue their decision to go with spin.

Australia had appeared well set to chase down New Zealand’s modest total of 142 for eight, needing a relatively straightforward 43 runs off the last five overs with six wickets in hand.

But tight bowling from rookie spinners Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi put on the brakes before a devastating penultimate over from McClenaghan who finished with figures of three for 17.

He conceded just three runs in his last six balls, taking the wickets of Mitchell Marsh and Ashton Agar after earlier snaring Shane Watson.

It left Australia needing 19 runs in their last over bowled by Corey Anderson who just about held his nerve, conceding 10 runs.

“Nice to perform like that but it was as a collective,” said McClenaghan after being named man-of-the-match.

“The spinners were fantastic and got us back in the game. It’s nice to show some teams we can play in these conditions.”

Australian skipper Steve Smith agreed Sodhi and Santner had been the difference.

“Obviously their spinners bowled extremely well, they ran through the middle,” said Smith.

“We didn’t respond well, we lost wickets in clumps which you can’t do in T20 cricket when you are chasing a total of 140.”

New Zealand’s second win makes them firm favourites to reach the semi-finals of the tournament but is a big blow to Australia’s hopes of winning a trophy that has so far proven elusive.