Details: Wednesday 21 February.
Final (N), Trans-Tasman Twenty20 Tri-Series.
New Zealand Vs Australia Final T20 of the tri series will be played on 21 february 2018. Memories of Friday night’s onslaught will be fresh, but they should be a stronger unit, with Mitchell Santner back in place of Ben Wheeler, and that will make a difference. Given the volume of cricket these guys play, it’s unlikely there will be too many scars. Australia will be looking to bounce back too, having conceded 243 on Friday after three games back home where they allowed 117, 155, and 137. With the exception of Marcus Stoinis, their bowlers were all getting their first taste of Eden Park on Friday, and it will be intriguing to see how both sides adjust.
Can you deliver a dominant bowling performance on Eden Park, a venue with short boundaries down the ground and ones that aren’t exactly massive to either side, which combined present a challenge unlike any other in world cricket? Spinner Ish Sodhi has been strong for the Black Caps in this tri-series. You only have to look at a previous meeting between the two sides to know that the answer is yes – the group stage one-day international at the 2015 World Cup, where Australia were rolled for 151, and the Black Caps lost nine wickets as they chased it down. But you could also look at the other T20s at Eden Park, where teams batting first have scored more than 170 eight times, and less than 170 seven times, and where teams batting second have only chased down targets five times out of 15. The batting failures weren’t all the result of dominant bowling performances, but the evidence is there that the ground does not favour batsmen as a matter of a course. On the eve of the decider, Black Caps captain Kane Williamson was well aware that bowling could be prove to be the decisive factor.
“I think in general in T20 cricket, bowlers are hugely important,” he said. “Having a strong bowling attack is most valuable, because the wickets do tend to be good surfaces, and if you have guys who can pick up wickets and defend well with the ball, then that goes a long way to either helping you restrict a total or bowl them out relatively cheaply.
“It is a tough art, as we have seen, especially on grounds like this, but a challenge that most bowlers embrace and look forward to.” All wickets are important, but early ones are more important. Australia have picked up seven during the power play so far in this tri-series – including taking three twice – while the Black Caps have picked up five, and no more than two on any occasion.
Neither side managed to claim any on Friday, which played a big part in them producing the totals they did. If someone can strike early on Wednesday, it will no doubt play a big part too.
Eden Park features a drop-in pitch and is generally slowish. Good for batting and is hard on the bowlers.
Cool and cloudy conditions are expected.
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
Venue Stats T20:
Total matches 15
Matches won batting first 8
Matches won bowling first 5
Average 1st Inns scores 168
Average 2nd Inns score 145
Highest total recorded Aus 245/5 (18.5 Ov) vs NZ
Lowest total recorded NZ 107/10 (14.5 Ov) vs RSA
Highest score chased Aus 245/5 (18.5 Ov) vs NZ
Lowest score defended RSA 165/7 (20 Ov) vs NZ
NEW ZEALAND VS AUSTRALIA HEAD TO HEAD IN T20S:
Matches Played: 7
New Zealand won: 1
Australia won: 5
New Zealand SQUAD: Kane Williamson (c), Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Ross Taylor, Mark Chapman, Tim Seifert, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Ben Wheeler, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult, Anaru Kitchen.
Australia Squad: David Warner(c), D’Arcy Short, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey(w), Billy Stanlake, Ashton Agar, Kane Richardson, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa, Ben Dwarshuis.
New Zealand is expected to play same.
Australia is expected to play same.
Australia : David Warner(c), D’Arcy Short, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Aaron Finch, Alex Carey(w), Ashton Agar, Kane Richardson, Andrew Tye, Billy Stanlake.
New Zealand : Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson (c), Mark Chapman, Ross Taylor, Tim Seifert (wk), Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult.
Colin de Grandhomme
PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT NEW ZEALAND VS ENGLAND Final T20: