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McClenaghan stars as New Zealand makes it two in two

Australia’s chase of 143 falls short despite good hands from Khawaja, Maxwell and Marsh

18 March 2016 19:20

New Zealand beat Australia by eight runs in a thrilling Group 2 ICC World Twenty20 2016 match in Dharamsala, with Mitchell McClenaghan making the difference with a brilliant penultimate over of Australia’s chase to finish with 3 for 17.

After New Zealand had made 142 for 8 in their 20 overs, Australia appeared well set to chase down a modest total. But it lost four wickets in the last two overs with McClenaghan and Corey Anderson holding their nerve at the death.

McClenaghan was a surprise replacement for Nathan McCullum, one of the heroes of New Zealand's dramatic victory over India on Tuesday. But the switch was vindicated in spectacular style while Australia was left to rue their decision to pick two rookie spinners, Ashton Agar and Adam Zampa.

Agar had a game to forget, smashed for three sixes in what was his only over. His first two balls were full tosses, gratefully dispatched over the ropes by Martin Guptill, who top-scored with a brisk 39 off 27 balls.

Guptill and Kane Williamson put on 61 in the first seven overs but New Zealand’s hopes of putting on a score close to 200 soon went up in smoke as Shane Watson, Glenn Maxwell and James Faulkner kept things tight.

Guptill was the first to go, caught on the boundary by Maxwell off Faulkner as he tried to go for another six at the beginning of the eighth over. Williamson and Anderson were then out in quick succession.

New Zealand never recovered the momentum and no batsman ever really looked settled on what proved to be a slow pitch.

Usman Khawaja and Watson got the Australian innings off to brisk start, putting on 44 before Watson was dismissed. Khawaja stroked six fours in his innings of 38 off just 27 balls before he was run out just as he looked poised to post a big score.

Australia seemed comfortably placed after ten overs, having put 66 on the board. But David Warner fell first ball of the 11th over, holing out at deep midwicket after mistiming a pull off Mitchell Santner.

Santner and Ish Sodhi, the heroes of the win over India, again bowled tidy spells. Sodhi conceded just 14 runs in his four overs while Santner took 2 for 30.

McClenaghan was handed the ball for the penultimate over and did the trick for his team by picking up the wickets of both Marsh and Agar, conceding just three runs in the process.