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Australia Defeats NZ in a Dramatic Twenty20 Match Thanks to David and Marsh

WELLINGTON: In Wednesday’s first Twenty20 international in Wellington, Tim David blasted a four off the final ball to lead Australia to a thrilling six-wicket triumph over New Zealand. Australia’s captain Mitchell Marsh hit 72 off 44 balls after being given 216 to win, while his batting partner David (31 not out) completed an exciting comeback triumph.

“To be honest, I thought we were done,” Marsh said in relief. “Towards the end, Tony David remained incredibly composed and confident in his abilities. That we have him is a great blessing. It was an excellent cricket match. Before the T20 World Cup in the United States and the West Indies in June, the three-match series is the final one for both countries.

Earlier, with the hosts finishing at 215-3, Rachin Ravindra had pushed New Zealand ahead of the pack with 68 runs off 35 balls, his maiden half-century in the format. Prior to spearheading the attack at bat, Marsh recorded his best bowling numbers of 1-21 and blasted seven sixes and two fours in his undefeated innings. After they lost the first two wickets, Travis Head and David Warner, the captain steadied his team. Head was bowled by Adam Milne for 24 before being caught by Tim Southee. In the sixth over, veteran Warner was caught by Glenn Phillips for 32.

Warner was jeered as he left the field and blew kisses at the crowd after criticizing the New Zealand supporters in the lead-up. After 10 overs, Marsh and Glenn Maxwell shared a 42-run partnership for the third wicket. Lockie Ferguson knocked Maxwell out for a clean hit on 25, leaving Australia at 111-3.

In the twelfth over, Southee failed to make a catch off Josh Inglis, and Phillips dropped Marsh’s subsequent delivery on the boundary, demonstrating how poor their fielding was. With three overs remaining and Australia at 172-4, Inglis was removed by a skidding drive to Ravindra at deep backward square leg. Inglis scored twenty.

After New Zealand seamer Adam Milne was hammered for 19 runs in the penultimate over, the game went to the wire. Australia required 15 off the final six balls, but David calmed himself by hitting a six and then smashed the last ball of the evening past a diving Phillips to the boundary.

New Zealand captain Mitchell Santner said of Australia, “I thought we didn’t bowl too bad, but the power they possess all the way down is the reason why they are pretty good.” “We scored rather well, but we are aware that they will continue to press the offensive. We didn’t really take wickets, which is the only way to stop them. The next two Twenty20 international matches will take place at Eden Park on Friday and Sunday, followed by a two-Test series, when the series shifts to Auckland. -AFP

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