10th over: Australia 87-2 (Philippe 43, Maxwell 3) Jamieson back to bowl to Maxwell. Teams think that he doesn’t like short bowling. He hits a lot of it for six though. Finds point first ball, then digs out a single. Philippe can’t score off the next. Too many dot balls stacking up for Australia. Philippe goes over backward point, hustles back for two, and crashes into keeper Tim Seifert as the throw comes in from Sodhi. Philippe goes again, another miscue down the ground, but mid-off is in the circle for him and Williamson running back can’t get there for the catch, or reel in the boundary.
9th over: Australia 79-2 (Philippe 36, Maxwell 2) Right then! They need more than 12 an over, Maxwell is at the crease, and the spinners are on. Philippe is up and running too, taking Santner down the ground for four with a bit of a hoick. Maxwell has a look, takes a couple of singles. Philippe gets wided while appealing for a caught behind with Philippe driving extravagantly, then Philippe tries to hit the seats down at long-off but miscues into space over the bowler’s head. Not much out of the middle.
WICKET! Finch c Phillips b Sodhi 12 (14), Australia 70-2
8th over: Australia 70-2 (Philippe 30) Ish Sodhi on to bowl, the skiddy leg-spinner who picked up four wickets when Australia were on the rack the other night. Philippe cuts away a couple of runs through a diving Santner at backward point. Turns over the strike and Finch cuts a brace to deep cover. Everything is going off side thanks to Sodhi’s line thus far, happy to stay wide outside off. He gets pinged by the umpire for going too far across, then Finch leaves the next ball. He’s deep into the 8th over and has only 12 runs to his name, how often would that have happened? So from the last ball of the over he goes back and tries to pull over the leg side. Really heaves at it. No timing. And it ends up in the hands of deep midwicket.
7th over: Australia 64-1 (Finch 10, Philippe 27) Santner on to bowl his left-arm spin, and Philippe drives him over cover for six! Top shot, calmly struck. The Kiwis go upstairs for a DRS when Philippe misses a sweep shot while kneeling. That ball probably hit his glove, hit him outside the line, and was going over the stumps. Aside from that, great review. Philippe sweeps again, this time getting a top edge over a vacant slip for a couple of runs. Then forces a single to keep strike, 11 from the over.
6th over: Australia 53-1 (Finch 9, Philippe 17) Great over from Boult to finish off the Powerplay, only three singles from it. Jamieson is really keeping Australia in the match at the moment. They still need 12 per over from here.
An earlier note from Ben Macintyre. “On Guptill – for a player who’d been so out of form this is one hell of a statement innings. No need to perform domestically when you can take it to the Aussies I guess. Conway who?”
5th over: Australia 50-1 (Finch 8, Philippe 15) Still no fun for Kyle Jamieson. Six, witha. stroke of fortune, as Philippe pulls high off the top edge over the keeper. Six more with fortune playing no part at all, as Philippe picks up a fuller ball beautifully off his pads over deep square! He didn’t make runs on debut but his next chance is going much better. There’s 50 up, going at 10 per over, broadly up with the required rate.
4th over: Australia 35-1 (Finch 7, Philippe 1) A very good over for Southee, two runs from it and the wicket.
Royce Hart, not his real name I suspect, writes in. “Surely this was a game for Wade to sit out, he seemed to add nothing with bat, gloves or brain in Game 1, and Phillipe can take the gloves. Maxi to VC. Turner could have batted for Wade so we have a strong tonking middle order, making it safer for the top 7 to all go hard at it.”
“More significantly, make sure you make heaps of Flying Nun references today, in honour of Dunedin’s finest. You can have obvious ones like ‘the Bats’ and Maxwell giving you ‘the Chills’, or Finch getting (the) Clean bowled. But it’s up to you how you work Straitjacket Fits into it, or the Verlaines. Personally, a Look Blue go Purple reference would lift a few hearts. Maybe Maxi has a Minisnap today, not a full snap?”
I think Wade showed his value only a couple of games ago, those two big fifties opening the batting against India in this format. And he’s done the business in the Big Bash for a long time. He has more of a claim to a T20 spot than a Test spot, certainly. Getting Turner in the middle is enticing though.
As for the Flying Nun, I’m sorry to say that’s a fair way before my cultural cognisance. But I’m glad you’re having fun.
WICKET! Wade c Williamson b Southee 24 (15), Australia 34-1
It’s a day for wicketkeepers to get out like that. Wade falls in exactly the way that Seifert did, trying to bash what was almost a cut shot over the off-side field, not getting enough of it, and finding mid-off. Josh Philippe to the crease early.
3rd over: Australia 33-0 (Wade 24, Finch 6) Kyle Jamieson to bowl, the six-foot-eight monster. He was pretty erratic the other night but he can swing the ball and he gets serious bounce. Bowls short first ball, and Wade steps across and lifts it over the keeper! Premeditated the length of that ball, I fancy. But it works this time. And Jamieson has bowled a no-ball! Overstepped by a long way. Then follows that up with a wide, so he has to rebowl it. Finally hits his spot, steepling bounce, and Wade swishes underneath that ball. So, only the two extras, could have been worse.
It gets worse. Wade steps across again and lifts him for six! Same shot, that sort of deflection pull shot, getting under the ball after getting inside the line of it. Then threads him through cover when Jamieson bowls fuller, nearly getting four but it’s well saved on the rope. Eight-ball over, 16 runs from it.
“Jamieson on the rocks early,” says Isa Guha. Very good.
2nd over: Australia 17-0 (Wade 11, Finch 5) No deep square leg for Trent Boult bowling, so his short ball gets pulled by Wade for four. Easy enough. One slip in position, Guptill fairly wide at about second. Boult tries a bouncer but gets wided, then bowls another halfway short delivery and gets pulled for four more! It’s not usually Boult’s length, a strange start for him. Hits a standard length at last and it nearly brings Finch undone racing to the striker’s end, with Neesham’s underarm hitting the stumps after Wade drops the ball to point. A dozen from the over with three singles and the wide plus the two boundaries.
1st over: Australia 5-0 (Wade 1, Finch 4) Tim Southee to start off with the ball, and he holds up Wade for a couple of deliveries before drawing a pull shot to a well placed deep square fielder. Finch charges first ball and is hit on the pad, but is able to get bat on the sixth ball of the over and glance it fairly square rather than fine for four. Off the mark with a boundary, that might help.
Australia must chase 220 to win
What a performance from New Zealand. Guptill was in Destructo-Mode, Williamson backed him up perfectly, and then Neesham at the end – 45 runs from 16 balls, a Laxman-respecting strike rate of 281, or by another metric he was scoring at 16.86 per over. He hit six sixes in that 45, including three in his first three balls.
The bright side for Australia? They can just clear their minds and hit.
20th over: New Zealand 219-7 (Neesham 45, Jamieson 0) Daniel Sams will bowl the last over: left-armer coming around the wicket to a left-hander, looking to angle one way across Neesham and make him hit off side. The umpire pings him for width first ball, which seems harsh on the replay. Reckon that was within the line. Sams tries again, and this time Neesham has a solution. He knows that the ball will come across him at a full length, and in the end it’s a full toss, making things easier. Neesham is already in position, bat face turned to see the sky, and he plays a reverse ramp shot over third man for six!
What. A. Shot.
All skill, all touch, just guides that away so well that it clears the rope.
Neesham only drills a single from the next ball, bringing Southee on strike. He drives down the ground and they take two, then he slices over point for four. When he walks towards a wide ball and misses it, Neesham is already belting through for the bye. Southee doesn’t make it to the other end and is run out, Sams sprawling to take Wade’s throw and then flicking down the stumps.
Southee run out Sams 6 (3), NZ 212-7
But Neesham is on strike, which was the point, and he gets a high full toss to close. Steps across to the off side and flicks it over long leg for six more!
The umpires went easy on Sams. He could have been wided for that Southee ball, and the last ball could have been a no-ball to height. But I don’t mind erring on the side of the bowler in white-ball cricket. Southee did move towards the wider ball, and the full toss was marginal on whether it was waist high.
WICKET! Santner c Maxwell b K. Richardson o (1), NZ 199-6
19th over: New Zealand 199-6 (Neesham 32) The over comes to an end with Santner, first ball, trying to loft a six and hitting it higher than long. Maxwell from long-on comes in for a comfy catch. The Richardsons have dragged this back to some extent, at least.
WICKET! Conway c Zampa b K. Richardson 2 (3), NZ 198-5
Two overs to go, and Neesham has 30 from 10 balls. Kane Richardson keeps the brakes on, getting Neesham driving back and hitting the bowler, dot ball, might even have been a catching chance? Firmly hit. Then Richardson has Neesham miscue a pull shot to mid-on for a single, before Conway reaches for a wide one looking to slash it, and only coughs up a catch to third man in the deep.
18th over: New Zealand 195-4 (Neesham 30, Conway 1) Jhye misses his length once in the over, a high full toss that Neesham can flick away for four to deep midwicket. But still: a single, a wide, a boundary, three dots and a wicket from the over. A triumph in the circumstances.
WICKET! Phillips b J. Richardson 8 (6), NZ 190-4
Good bowling. Phillips is taking guard on off stump, so Jhye bowls really wide. Gets wided by the umpire once, but gets some latitude on a couple more deliveries given the batsman’s stance. Fourth ball, Phillips tries to go across to scoop the yorker length, but this time Richardson fires it straight, missing the shot completely and taking leg stump.
17th over: New Zealand 189-3 (Neesham 26, Phillips 8) For a moment, Kane Richardson has it under control. He knows that Neesham likes to go leg side, so he angles it way across the lefty. Changes pace. Gives him nothing to work with. For two balls. Then Neesham pounds a pull shot for his fourth six! Gets just about yorked for a single, and the right-handed Phillips picks up a ball off his pads for six more! Over midwicket. This is crazy hitting!
16th over: New Zealand 175-3 (Neesham 19, Phillips 2) The wicket of Williamson comes in the over, but only after Neesham had made it three sixes from three balls, destroying his first from Zampa with a slog-sweep. Then absolutely nails his fourth ball flat, on the bounce, but the boundary rider at deep mid cuts it off.
WICKET! Williamson b Zampa 50 (33), NZ 173-3
Strange sort of shot from Williamson, doesn’t play anything big, maybe just looking for a single to put Neesham on strike? Gets stuck on the crease, almost overbalances before the ball arrives, and it’s short enough to give the wrong ‘un time to turn back into the batsman. It does so, Williamson prods, inside edge, onto his stumps.
Half-century! Williamson 50 from 32 balls
15th over: New Zealand 163-2 (Williamson 50, Neesham 12) You don’t think of Williamson as a speedster but 50 from 32 is not the work of an accumulator. He gets his milestone, then Guptill falls. Will that slow down New Zealand? Errrrm, no. Jimmy Neesham pounds his first two balls for six! Left-hander versus left-armer, and Neesham pulls the first one over wide long-on, then whips the next over deep backward square leg. He’s 12 from 2!
WICKET! Guptill c Stoinis b Sams 97 (50), 151-2
Massive wicket with just more than five overs to go! Sams bowls a good first few balls, singles and then beats Guptill outside off, so Guptill tries to launch the fourth ball straight. Gets a good piece of it but not quite enough this time, and Stoinis at long-off claims it on the rope. No century for Guptill, would have been his third in T20I cricket, but he’ll have to be content with two so far.
14th over: New Zealand 149-1 (Guptill 96, Williamson 49) Zampa is back and he’s bowling well. Bravely, too. Flights a ball right in at the toes of Guptill, darts flatter ones at Williamson’s pads, concedes a wide when he’s trying to get Williamson stumped, has only gone for six from five balls, but bowls the final delivery on a tasty length and Kane plays the slog-sweep that carries just a metre or so over Maxwell’s head on the rope at deep midwicket for six. The hits keep coming!
13th over: New Zealand 137-1 (Guptill 93, Williamson 41) A change of Richardsons, Jhye into the attack, bowls a decent sort of floating delivery on a length that doesn’t bounce much, but Williamson clocks the pace on it, dips at the knees, and still manages to pull it over midwicket for six! Caned! Williamson is almost run out after that, short at the non-striker’s end after Finch throws from deep on the circle at mid-off, but the throw misses. The change of strike lets Guptill get under a wide yorker and slice it over point for four.
12th over: New Zealand 123-1 (Guptill 87, Williamson 33) It just will not stop raining sixes at Uni Oval! Guptill gets lucky on the first one, a short ball that he tries to flip-pull away over backward square, but instead it hits almost the inside shoulder of the bat, up near the gloves, and flies over the keeper into the sight screen on the full. That’s a ridiculously clean miscue. Nothing miscued about the next though, as Richardson bowls a proper slot ball and Guptill just dismisses it down the ground into the other sight screen. Richardson tries for width but misses his length, and Guptill scorches the wide full toss through cover for four! Before all of that, Williamson had placed a cut shot fine for three runs after a couple of singles. 21 from the over!
11th over: New Zealand 102-1 (Guptill 70, Williamson 29) Marcus Stoinis comes on with his medium pace. Williamson pulls two runs to midwicket, top-edgy, then miscues a scoop that Wade almost gets forward to catch. Bowling to Guptill will be the challenge, though, and he duly goes for six! There’s that shot across the line. It isn’t very short from Stoinis, only about waist-high in bounce, but Guptill pulls it anyway over square leg. Stoinis goes short again, slower ball, well outside off stump, but Guptill fetches it over the leg side anyway. That can be a hard shot, but when a player has arms as long as Guptill they can really get power into that, and it disappears over wide long-on. Huge score coming, hundred up, 17 from the over.
10th over: New Zealand 85-1 (Guptill 57, Williamson 25) Brilliant stop by Finch at cover denies Guptill a boundary, keeps him to one. Then smart batting from Williamson: he fakes moving to the leg side, then comes back across to off. Agar has tried to follow him towards leg, which means that Williamson ends up with a leg-stump pie that he can kneel down and loft with a sweep over backward square leg for four. Into the mood, he skips down the wicket to drive Agar for six! Another simple shot, we haven’t seen any slogging across the line when these batsmen have wanted to attack. The over costs 13.
9th over: New Zealand 72-1 (Guptill 56, Williamson 13) Daniel Sams bowls an over that’s either pitched up yorker length or dug into the pitch back of a length. He bowls one horror full toss, should have been a no-ball just about, outside the off stump, but gets away with it thanks to a deep point who protects the boundary. Six from the over.
8th over: New Zealand 66-1 (Guptill 52, Williamson 11) Jhye Richardson gets the relief of getting to bowl mostly to Kane Williamson, which isn’t a frequent sentiment you’d hear expressed in any form of cricket. Williamson cuts a loose short ball for four but the over only goes for seven runs. That feels like an Australian win in the circumstances.
Half-century! Guptill 50 from 27 balls
7th over: New Zealand 59-1 (Guptill 50, Williamson 6) Zampa to continue to Guptill and…
THAT HAS GONE INTO THE CAR PARK.
What a shot from Guptill! That is his cleanest of the day by a distance. That distance is about 150 metres by the look of it. Guptill plays that purely on line, I think. Zampa usually bowls straight at the stumps but that ball is a bit wider. Guptill stays in his crease, isn’t fully to the pitch, but trusts that Zampa won’t turn it much. And he drives it dead straight, over the crowd, over the building, over the perimeter fence, and literally out of the ground. A six in 1880s terms. Goodness me.
Two balls later Guptill goes again. And so does Zampa. A shuffle down the pitch this time, a bit of turn sees the ball struck a bit wider down the ground, but its the same result on the scoreboard.
6th over: New Zealand 45-1 (Guptill 37, Williamson 5) Whackity whack. Agar’s frugal start does not continue. Guptill again plays that really simple drive through the line, not swinging too hard, just timing the ball over long-off for six. Then backs away from a shorter ball and cracks it through cover point for four.
5th over: New Zealand 30-1 (Guptill 24, Williamson 3) And a good over from the leg-spinner Adam Zampa. Gets away with a full toss first ball that only costs him a single to deep midwicket, but thereafter he lands them nicely. Draws a thick inside edge past Guptill’s stumps for a couple, and otherwise only concedes a few singles.
4th over: New Zealand 25-1 (Guptill 21, Williamson 1) Kane Richardson bowls out the over well. Guptill gets one boundary, but miscued, aiming over mid-on but instead getting a leading edge over mid-off. Then he nicks the final ball of the over but it’s a low-pace slower ball and so it bounces through to Matthew Wade behind the stumps.
WICKET! Seifert c Finch b K. Richardson 3 (6), NZ 20-1
First ball of the other Richardson’s day and he gets a wicket. Bowled back of a length, a slightly slower variation, and Seifert wants to muscle it over the off-side field with everyone up in the ring. Doesn’t make good contact with the cross-bat shot and only skews it away to mid-off.
3rd over: New Zealand 20-0 (Guptill 17, Seiftert 3) Shot from Martin Guptill! Jhye Richardson comes on with pace and Guptill smokes him for six. Richardson is bowling in at the stumps and Guptill just shuffles a touch before the ball arrives, half a pace down the wicket, which turns the ball into a half-volley. A simple swing through the line and it vanishes over long-off! What a strike. A couple of balls later Richardson tries the same line but fuller, and this time Guptill stays home and chips it over the bowler’s head for four. He looks good when he’s on.
2nd over: New Zealand 8-0 (Guptill 6, Seiftert 2) Ashton Agar the other opening bowler, left-armers from both ends. Orthodox spin in theory from Agar though he doesn’t try to flight or turn one. Just bangs in some straight darts from around the wicket, wide line, in at the legs. And it works, the batsmen only get two singles from the over.
1st over: New Zealand 6-0 (Guptill 5, Seiftert 1) Daniel Sams to start with, left-arm brisk. Overpitches first ball and Guptill takes advantage, driving along the ground through extra cover for four. Sams dials back his length after that, using the angle to good effect just across Guptill without giving any width. Good bowling. Three dots then a single, and Seifert punches one run from the final delivery.
Got an email in from Jack Jorgensen.
“I really enjoy Aaron Finch as a captain and a batter, but his form is starting to get a bit worrying. It’s not even the lack of runs really, it’s more so the lack of even starts. It seems like he can’t get himself going. Do you think that Riley Meredith is an either/or with Jhye Richardson? Sams offers left-arm variety, and Kane Richardson is more of a change-up bowler, whereas Jhye and Riley seem to fit more the express pace options. By the way, the bowling attack either has a very biblical feel (Kane, Adam, Daniel), or a modern Millenial-name feel (Jhye, Riley). Two bob for your thoughts on the TV umpire in Ind v Eng last night.”
A few things there. Yes, Finch even at the toss seemed uncomfortable and unhappy, we saw when he had his bad patch in 2019 that it really got on top of him. Hence the string of very early dismissals. He need a circuit-breaker.
Yes, the bowling selections follow that pattern. They want Kane for variations, exactly that, and he’s one of the more senior players having been picked for a while even when the big names are present. Sams offers batting as well, which helps.
And the third umpire… well, it’s almost like you know that I was up until 4am watching a Test match before logging on at 11am for this T20. This question regards Ben Stokes having a catch at slip struck out for touching the ground. I think that the third umpire process through several of the recent Tests has been rushed at times, and they could have looked at more camera angles if they had them. But I also doubt that any other angle would have changed the story given that most of both of the fielder’s hands were on the sides of the ball, not underneath, and that his hands moved laterally for such a long way across the ground. Stokes probably did have a finger under the ball, but he must have caught it with some assistance from the ground.
England’s understanding of umpiring processes has been pretty poor through the series, and they keep getting upset which doesn’t help in any way.
There’s a lovely old grandstand at the Uni Oval. A correspondent sent me some photos of the place a couple of days ago, snapped during his daily dog-walk. Wish that we could be over there: this match will be followed by two ODIs between NZ and England women, so plenty of cricket for Dunedin this week. England easily won the first match in Christchurch yesterday.
Two unchanged sides will walk out today, New Zealand happy with how things went, Australia wanting to give the same players a chance to fix things up. Interesting that Riley Meredith hasn’t played either of the first two matches after being signed for $1.4million AUD in the IPL auction last week.
Tim Seifert +
Kane Williamson *
Aaron Finch *
Matthew Wade +
Australia win the toss and will bowl
Another coin called the right way for Aaron Finch, which was about the only thing that did go right for him the other night. He chooses to chase again. There has never been a T20I at the University Oval in Dunedin, so there’s no way to know how it’s going to play. T20 captains these days prefer to have a look at conditions before having to bat in them.
Game two! New Zealand wiped the floor with Australia in the first match of this series on Monday night in Christchurch. This will be an entirely different setup: an afternoon game in Dunedin, with both teams batting in daylight. It might make a difference. Devon Conway was the central player for the home side, reaching 99 not out from the last ball of the first innings to rescue a dodgy start. Then Australia’s start was even worse, and there was no recovery from there. Tim Southee and Trent Boult swung them out.
Eyes will be especially turned to Australia’s captain Aaron Finch. He’s been in a run rut, and there’s a World Cup later this year. We’ve heard this story before, in 2019, and he came good that time. But it will still be notable if Finch finds a way to a big score, and equally notable if he falls early as he has kept doing recently.
Should be fun. Let’s shall.