Were my fingers any tireder? Maybe not. That concludes the hit-balls-out-of-the-park-for-free game. We have two more T20Is to go in the series and the next one is a knockout one. The hosts will face England in a clash that'll complete the line-up for the final. The Englishmen will have to beat the Black Caps by a significant margin to go through. It promises to be an enthralling match on the outset. Do join us on February 18, 2018, at 1900 local time (0600 GMT) for that contest. Till then, adios, ta-ta!
David Warner, the victorious Aussie skipper, reckons that when someone like Martin Guptill does as well as he did, it is important to forget the scoreboard and just play the game aggressively. Talks about playing with freedom and backing oneself in such conditions. Says that playing for the nation is a pleasure and the talks revolved about doing so with a smile and enjoying what they are doing. About bowling on such surfaces, he mentions about doing the best to pull the score back and then backing yourself to chase it down.
Kane Williamson, the glum-looking home skipper, says that with such a small ground and a good surface, this was always on the cards. Reckons they felt they had enough at the halfway stage. Admits to this being a tough game for the bowlers as the Aussies came hard at them. Adds further that even after bowling well, when the edges and miscues result in runs, it is not good for the bowlers. States it is important for them to swallow this and turn up fresh in the next game on a better track, which they'll look to do.
D'Arcy Short is the Man of the Match for his stellar 76. He reckons this has been a good run chase for his side. Says that they knew how to approach this by watching the Kiwis bat. Adds that often when chasing big totals, the key is to get going from ball one and that's what they did. Ends saying that they would keep backing themselves and look to play in the same way in the upcoming games as well.
Poor bowlers, what do we write about them when 488 runs are scored in 38.5 overs bowled in the contest. Ish Sodhi, with an economy of 8.75 rpo, was the best of the lot for New Zealand, where the others conceded runs at more than 10 an over. Ben Wheeler had a forgetful night as he had to be taken out of the attack for bowling two no balls for height. One can say that they got a dose of their own medicine as earlier in the evening, Martin Guptill smashed his way to his second T20I ton, which helped his side equal its highest score in the format. Hang on for the presentation...
D'Arcy Short and David Warner gave Australia the perfect start with a fiery 121-run stand. The former continued nicely even after the latter's dismissal. Both of them notched up their respective fifties in the process. Each of the batters apart from the last two hit at least one six in a game where it was yours for the taking. Glenn Maxwell spent time with Short, enough to string together 56 with the southpaw. Aaron Finch then just added the finishing touches to make sure there are no blips to the final outcome.
Hush! End of the run-collecting festival! Let all the talks about how good or bad such high-scoring games can be, carry on. Australia would take nothing of that as they have pulled off the highest successful run chase in all T20s. Wonder who loves such bowlers-bashing games, but certainly two sides are sure to be happy with the outcome tonight - Australia, for the obvious reasons, and England. Yes, the latter, because this result means that their hopes of making it to the final is still ALIVE! You now know, from where the secret thank-you gift will be traveling tonight. Psst... forget about the Ashes rivalry!
Colin de Grandhomme to Aaron Finch
SIX! BASHED! Ideal way to cap the run-fest! Finch makes room and smites it way over long on to STAMP AUSTRALIA'S AUTHORITY WITH A 5-WICKET WIN!
Colin de Grandhomme to Alex Carey
Outside off, pushed through point for one to get going. Wonder for how long, though.
Alex Carey is next in.
Colin de Grandhomme to Marcus Stoinis
OUT! No celebration from the hosts. This is pushed past backward point and Stoinis wants two immediately. Wheeler runs to his left in the deep and fires a flat throw to the keeper who takes the bails off in a flash. It is taken upstairs. The replay shows Stoinis is short of his crease.
Run out appeal taken upstairs. It is against Stoinis.
This one is lofted high in the air but it doesn't carry to long on. A run taken.
WIDE! This is sprayed down the leg side, Aaron misses the flick.
Full outside off, pushed through cover-point for one.
Colin de Grandhomme is brought back. 10 needed off the last 12 balls.
Tim Southee to Aaron Finch
Short delivery, Finch misses the pull shot.
FOUR! Well played. Length ball outside off, Finch guides it past short third man for a boundary.
Tim Southee to Marcus Stoinis
The batsman plays the pull shot. One run added to the total.
Short in length, pulled away to deep mid-wicket for one.