Martin Guptill, bowlers guide New Zealand to series win over Australia

After facing two heavy defeats from Australia at an empty Sky Stadium, New Zealand came back strongly in the series decider on Sunday with the crowd roaring in favour of the home side. The Black Caps regained their confidence amid the presence of the fans and defeated Australia in the fifth T20I to win the Trans-Tasman series by 3-2.

After opting to bat, Australia could only manage to post 142/8 on the scoreboard in their allotted 20 overs, thanks to disciplined bowling by Kiwis. Matthew Wade, who struggled to score runs in the whole series, smashed his team’s maximum in the Sunday afternoon fixture.

The wicketkeeper-batsman contributed 44 from 29 deliveries and formed a crucial partnership of 66-runs with skipper Aaron Finch for the second wicket. Finch was the second-highest scorer for the visitors, with 36 off 32 balls. All-rounder Marcus Stoinis also made a valuable contribution by making 26 as the touring side scored 142 with the loss of eight wickets.

Ish Sodhi was again the pick of the bowlers for the hosts after he bagged as many as three wickets for 24 in his quota of 4 overs. Apart from Sodhi, Tim Southee and Trent Boult took two scalps each, while Mark Chapman earned one wicket.

In reply, New Zealand had a tremendous start as the pair of Devon Conway, and Martin Guptill added 106-runs for the opening wicket to completely demolish Australia’s hopes for making a comeback in the game.

Although Aussie pacer Riley Meredith picked up two in two balls after he dismissed Conway (36) and Kane Williamson (0), but it was too late for the tourists to bounce back in the contest. Guptill went on to score 71 from 46 deliveries laced up with seven fours and four sixes as the home team chased down the target in 15.3 overs with seven wickets in hand.

Guptill was named Player of the Match, while Sodhi, who bagged 13 wickets in the series, was given the Player of the Series award.

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