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New Zealand see off Australia

Sky Sports logo Sky Sports 18-03-2016 skysports.com

Getty © Provided by BSkyB Getty Getty © Provided by BSkyB Getty

Australia failed to chase down New Zealand's modest target of 143 with Mitchell McClenaghan taking career-best figures of 3-17 as they restricted Steve Smith's side to 132-9. 

The victory will represent partial revenge for New Zealand after their defeat to Australia in last year's World Cup final and gives them a strong chance of reaching the semi-finals of the competition as they lead Group 2 with matches against Pakistan and Bangladesh to follow.

The Black Caps relied on power hitting at both ends of their innings, from Martin Guptill up front and Grant Elliott in the closing overs, to reach 142-8. It looked below par but tight bowling earned them a second successive win as McClenaghan, recalled after missing the opening game when a spin-heavy attack skittled India, took 3-17.

It looked below par but tight bowling earned them a second successive win as McClenaghan, recalled after missing the opening game when a spin-heavy attack skittled India, took 3-17.

Guptill struck two fours and four sixes in an opening stand of 61 with captain Kane Williamson, which ended when Guptill - who hit 39 from 27 balls - hoisted James Faulkner to deep midwicket.

Glenn Maxwell took the catch and his off-spin accounted for the next two wickets, first Williamson (24) then Corey Anderson lofting straight down the ground to Ashton Agar in successive overs.

Colin Munro produced an array of shots - at one point pulling out of an intended switch-hit over leg to steer the ball right-handed past keeper Peter Nevill for four - but on 23 a big heave at Mitchell Marsh from his regular left-handed stance picked out Faulkner.

Ross Taylor hit Shane Watson for a huge six before chipping the next ball weakly to Marsh at midwicket, but Elliott provided late impetus with 27 from 20 balls before being run out off the final ball of the 20 overs.

Australia also slipped after a strong start, Usman Khawaja and Watson putting on 44 before the latter drove McClenaghan's slower ball to Williamson at mid-off and new man Steven Smith was stumped, beaten by huge turn from Mitchell Santner.

Khawaja hit six fours in his 38 from 27 balls, but was run out as Adam Milne's powerful throw from the deep beat his dive. That left Australia 66 for three at halfway and from the very next ball, David Warner swatted Santner straight to Guptill on the leg-side boundary.

Maxwell and Marsh carried the fight and with five overs remaining Australia were 100 for four - one run better than New Zealand had been at the same stage.

But Maxwell holed out for 22, Williamson holding a catch off Ish Sodhi's bowling, and Agar was surprisingly promoted ahead of Faulkner to No 7.

He and Marsh each hit sixes in Santner's last over, the left-armer finishing with 2-30, but Marsh fell to the returning McClenaghan and the left-arm seamer also had Agar well caught by Taylor in a brilliant 19th over.

Australia needed 19 off the last and when key man Faulkner heaved Anderson (2-29) to long-on and Guptill took a good catch, the game was up as Australia finished on 134-9.


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