New Zealand thrash holders Australia in T20 World Cup opener

Inspired by Conway’s 92, New Zealand got their revenge for last year’s T20 WC final loss to Australia.

New Zealand have thrashed hosts and defending champions Australia by 89 runs to start the Twenty20 World Cup Super 12 in style while also avenging defeat in last year’s final.

Devon Conway carried his bat on Saturday with a majestic unbeaten 92 to help New Zealand post 200-3 before Australia were skittled for 111 in Sydney to make a nightmare start to their title defence.

It was New Zealand’s first win against Australia in Australia in any format since 2011.

The match at a sold-out Sydney Cricket Ground was a repeat of the 2021 final in Dubai when Australia powered to an eight-wicket win and their maiden T20 World Cup crown.

On Saturday, Conway’s knock came off just 58 balls with seven fours and two sixes, joining a select group to make 90 or more at a World Cup.

The 23-year-old Finn Allen hit the second ball of the match for a boundary and the third for a six over mid-on, and then drove a boundary straight down the ground as New Zealand took 14 off the first over from paceman Mitchell Starc.

Not to be outdone, Conway then crunched two blistering boundaries off Josh Hazlewood as the Black Caps plundered 29 from the first two overs.

Adam Zampa dropped Allen in the next over as Pat Cummins was similarly punished, taken for 17.

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But the young right-hander’s luck ran out when Hazlewood returned and the wily pace spearhead bowled him for 42 – off just 16 balls – as he charged down the crease.

Conway (r) took 14 runs off Starc in the first over of the match to set the tone for New Zealand [Saeed Khan/AFP]

The introduction of Marcus Stoinis and Adam Zampa helped stem the run flow, but Conway brought up his 50 with a six off the spinner Zampa, who trapped Kane Williamson (23) leg-before in the same over.

Hazlewood removed Glenn Phillips for 12 before Jimmy Neesham hit a six off the final ball to reach 200.

Australia’s chase started badly when David Warner, the player of the tournament in the 2021 event, fell for three in the second over, dragging the ball onto his stumps off Tim Southee.

Aaron Finch (13) hit a giant six off Trent Boult but didn’t last much longer.

When the big-hitting Tim David, preferred to Steve Smith, was dismissed for 11, it was all but over at 68-5 in the 11th over.

Mitchell Santner and Southee both took three wickets each.

Australia next meet Sri Lanka in Perth on Tuesday while New Zealand face Afghanistan in Melbourne a day later.

Merry

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