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Black Sticks draw 1-1 with Australia

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 29/04/2017

New Zealand have made an encouraging start to the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup tournament in Malaysia, drawing 1-1 with defending champions Australia.

In humid conditions, Dominic Newman found an equaliser in the final quarter after Tom Craig put the Kookaburras in front soon after halftime.

The game was delayed two hours by a lightning storm, preceding a tense first half which was mostly dominated by the world No.2 Kookaburras.

Goalkeeper Devon Manchester, playing his 100th Test, was outstanding for the eighth-ranked Black Sticks, shutting down several Australian chances.

He couldn't prevent Craig from scoring a field goal, however, after the Australian found himself in space two minutes into the third quarter.

Newman's goal reflected New Zealand's best period in the final quarter but they couldn't find a late winner.

New Zealand's next opponents at the six-nation tournament on Sunday are India, who opened with a 2-2 draw against Great Britain.

Malaysia and Japan completed a trio of draws, playing out a 1-1 stalemate.

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