The Roar
The Roar


'Thought we were about 50 short': Bowlers blitz Black Caps as Zampa takes four, Wade plucks stunner

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23rd February, 2024
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Four wickets from Adam Zampa in a timely return to form has led Australia to a commanding 72-run victory over New Zealand in the second T20I, to secure an unassailable 2-0 lead in the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy.

Chasing 174 after Australia were bowled out one ball short of their 20 overs, thanks mainly to an explosive 22-ball 45 from Travis Head featuring five sixes at the order, the Black Caps lost blaster Finn Allen in the opening over and never recovered.

With Allen chopping Josh Hazlewood on after a bizarre opening over that featured four dots, a six and the wicket, Black Caps captain Mitchell Santner’s choice to elevate himself to first drop due to a thumb injury to regular opener Devon Conway while wicketkeeping didn’t play off.

Minus Conway, who headed to hospital for scans after the blow, the hosts slumped to 4/29 after 6.3 overs to all but kill the contest, with only a lone hand from Glenn Phillips (42 off 35) helping them reach triple figures.

The result will come as a relief for Australia’s bowling attack, at full strength save for the inclusion of back-up quick Nathan Ellis (2/16 from three overs) for the rested Mitchell Starc; having conceded a T20I record four consecutive scores of 200+, to fire as one against a quality, if undermanned, opposition is a positive sign just months out from the T20 World Cup.

 I thought we were about 50 short,” captain Mitchell Marsh confessed after the match – as it turned out, they had more than enough.


Sent in by Santner, Australia’s batting effort appeared well under par for the diminutive Auckland ground.

Only Head and Pat Cummins (28 off 22), in at eight to steady the ship, impressed with the bat on Friday night.

It mattered not as an understrength Black Caps side never got going in their chase

After claiming the key wicket of Allen, Hazlewood’s night improved further by sending down a rare maiden in the PowerPlay to hamper the hosts’ start even more.

Australia’s attack in the field was typified by returning gloveman Matthew Wade, who sprinted for Will Young’s skied effort and caught it in the outfield to have the Kiwis wobbling at 2-14.

New Zealand – already without Kane Williamson and Daryl Mitchell – didn’t risk Rachin Ravindra due to a sore knee, and were beset by further bad fortune.


Hazlewood produced six dot balls in the fifth over as Australia turned the screws, with Ellis, one of three changes to the Australian line-up, bowling Santner in the sixth over.

As the Black Caps attempted a salvage job from 4-29, Zampa (4/34 off four) then bowled Josh Clarkson and Adam Milne in consecutive balls to scuttle their chances.

Phillips was their best, attempting to anchor the innings before becoming Zampa’s third victim, caught at long-on.

New Zealand’s early innings woe was in complete contrast to Australia’s, which started like a wildfire but lost energy.

Powered by Head, Australia raced to 2-103 off eight overs and looked set for a monster total.

From that point they collapsed, with the returning Steve Smith among the failures.


Smith, without an Indian Premier League contract, needed runs to prove his worth for June’s T20 World Cup, with coach Andrew McDonald admitting how he performed in Auckland would “dictate what happens” with his World Cup place.

Adam Zampa celebrates the wicket of Josh Clarkson.

Adam Zampa celebrates the wicket of Josh Clarkson. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

The 34-year-old made an unconvincing 11 before falling lbw to the stellar Lockie Ferguson (4-12 off 3.5 overs) on a night where most batters struggled.

Australia were too often tempted by the tonk given the short boundaries, with four of the top six caught attempting to slog.

Glenn Maxwell (six) and Marsh (26) holed out to Trent Boult at long-on within three deliveries, with Josh Inglis (five) and Wade (one) following shortly after.

Alongside Ferguson, Kiwi paceman Ben Sears (2-29 off four) impressed.

Despite the lack of partnerships, late-innings contributions from Tim David and particularly Cummins meant Australia posted a score the Kiwis couldn’t match.


The game-two stroll was a sharp contrast to the opener in Wellington, won by Australia when David conjured a last-ball four.

The result means game three, also at Auckland’s Eden Park, is a dead rubber.

After the T20 series, Australia will turn their attention to a two-match Test series, beginning at Wellington’s Basin Reserve on Thursday.