NZ vs AUS: Five most memorable encounters between Trans-Tasman rivals

New Zealand and Australia will resume their rivalry in T20Is later this month. The Black Caps will host Australia for five T20Is, starting from February 22. Over the years, both these teams have played out some absolute classics in the shortest format of the game and the cricketing fraternity is hoping that the upcoming series turns out to be an enthralling one too. So before the action starts, we are taking a look at five memorable T20Is between New Zealand and Australia.

5. Auckland, 2005:

When New Zealand and Australia met in Auckland in 2005, it was a historic event because it was the first-ever T20 International. Australia had thrashed the Black Caps by 44 runs to start their journey in the shortest format of the game on a high. Batting first, Australia piled up a mammoth total of 214 for 5 in the allotted 20 overs. Their captain Ricky Ponting was the star of the show, blasting an unbeaten 98 off 55 balls. In reply, New Zealand were all out for 170. Scott Styris waged a lone battle for the Black Caps, scoring 66 while pacer Michael Kasprowicz picked up 4 wickets.

4. Dharamsala, 2016:

After beating India in their first match of the ICC T20 World Cup 2016, high-flying New Zealand locked horns against Australia in their second game. And the Kane Williamson-led side continued their stunning start to the tournament by winning the game by 8 runs. When New Zealand finished their innings on 142 for 8, it looked like Australia would chase down the total without much trouble. For the Black Caps, their opener Martin Guptill top-scored with 39. Australia, however, failed miserably with the bat and fell short by eight runs. With 19 runs needed in the final over bowled by Corey Anderson, they could manage only 10. Pacer Mitchell McClenaghan starred with the ball for New Zealand, taking 3 for 17.

3. Sydney, 2009:

Australia continued their domination over New Zealand in T20Is by beating them by 1 run in Sydney in 2009. It was the third T20I between the Trans-Tasman rivals. During this very match, Nathan Bracken became the first Australian bowler to bowl a maiden in T20Is as he bowled 10 dots on the trot. Bracken then went on to defend 12 runs in the final over. The former pacer conceded just 1 run off his first four balls before Nathan McCullum blasted a four and a six. Earlier in the game, Australia scored 150 for 7 with Michael Hussey’s 41 being the best effort. In reply, New Zealand kept losing wickets at regular intervals but remained in the hunt thanks to a 61-run knock from Brendon McCullum. The visitors eventually ended on 149 for 5.

2. Christchurch, 2010:

The Christchurch T20I between New Zealand and Australia in 2010 is one of the best games played in the history of T20s. 40 overs of thrilling cricket could not separate the two teams before New Zealand clinched the game in the super-over. New Zealand touched the 200-run mark for the first time in T20Is and scored 214 for 6 thanks to a blazing 116 run knock from Brendon McCullum. In reply, Australia were looking set to cross the finishing line thanks to Michael Clarke’s 67 off 45 balls and a whirlwind unbeaten 64 off 26 balls from Cameron White. But with three runs needed off the last ball, Clarke was run out by Nathan McCullum attempting a third as Australia finished on 214 for 4. In the super over, Tim Southee conceded just 6 runs before McCullum and Martin Guptill saw New Zealand home with two balls remaining.

1. Auckland, 2018:

Australia created history when they locked horns against New Zealand in the Auckland T20I in 2018. The Aussies pulled off the highest successful run chase in the history of T20 cricket as they beat the Black Caps by five wickets. Batting first, New Zealand scored a mammoth total of 243 for 6 in the allotted 20 overs. Opener Martin Guptill led the charge with the bat, scoring a stunning 105. His opening partner Colin Munro also played a whirlwind knock of 76 off 33 balls. It looked all over for Australia when New Zealand ended their innings. The visitors, however, had other ideas. Their openers David Warner and D’Arcy short came out all guns blazing and shared a 121-run stand off just 51 balls to lay the foundation for the famous win. They went on to complete the chase in just 18.5 overs. Aaron Finch sealed the remarkable feat with a six.