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Martin Guptill stars as New Zealand win series 3-2 against Australia

March 8, 2021

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Martin Guptill starred with the bat to help New Zealand record a comprehensive seven-wicket win over Australia. The hosts sealed a 3-2 series win in the five-match T20I series. Guptill smashed 71 runs off 46 deliveries with seven boundaries and four sixes. The Black Caps bounced back from two consecutive defeats to win the series against Australia.

Chasing a target of 143 for the series win, opening batsmen Devon Conway and Guptill formed a solid 106-run opening partnership. The hosts had a strong start before Riley Meredith dismissed Conway. Meredith struck again in the same over to dismiss New Zealand captain Kane Williamson for a duck. However, Guptill continued to push the Kiwis towards Australia's total until Mitchell Marsh caught him off Jhye Richardson's bowling.

Australia, who declared an unchanged line-up following their win in the fourth meeting, lost eight wickets for 142 in their innings. Matthew Wade was the top-scorer for Australia with 44 off just 29 balls. Captain Aaron Finch followed up with his brilliant performances in the previous two matches with 36 runs from 32 balls. The men in yellow struggled to find their tempo on a complicated surface. On the other hand, New Zealand's bowlers kept the visitors in check throughout the final ten overs to set up a victorious run chase.

Ish Sodhi awarded the player of the series award

Guptill, who had not been in great form going into the series, led with a masterful 71, whereas Conway contributed 36. The opening duo put on 106 runs for the first wicket. New Zealand collapsed slightly when Kane Williamson went the first ball. However, Guptill's single denied Riley Meredith's hat-trick. Phillips, who was unbeaten on 34, helped New Zealand to win the match with 27 balls to spare.

Considering the first four matches in the series were won by the team batting first, New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson needed to be experimental this time. New Zealand had lost the toss and was asked to bowl first. Kane Williamson put faith in spinners as they picked up four of the eight wickets. Leg spinner Ish Sodhi emerged as the leading wicket-taker in the series, with ten at an average of 18. This is the first instance that New Zealand has thrashed Australia in a bilateral T20I series. Among the four series played earlier, three were won by Australia whereas one resulted in a draw.

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