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Conway's 99 not out helps NZ beat Aus by 53 runs

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Christchurch, Feb 22 (IANS) New Zealand on Monday beat Australia by 53 runs in the 1st T20I at the Hagley Oval to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series. Devon Conway scored an unbeaten 99 to help New Zealand to 184/5 after which Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult and Tim Southee dismantled the visitors who were all out for 131.

While Boult and Southee picked two wickets each, Sodhi took career-best figures of 4/28.

Both teams lost their top three batsmen within the first four overs. While New Zealand managed to recover thanks to Conway’s innings, Australia could not arrest their collapse. The visitors are without first choice players like Steve Smith, David Warner and Pat Cummins and Matthew Wade opened the batting with captain Aaron Finch.

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Finch fell to Southee in the first over of the innings for one run after which Josh Philippe fell to Boult for two. Boult also dismissed Wade in his next over after which Southee got the wicket of Glenn Maxwell, who departed for just one run.

Sodhi then got the first of his four wickets as he dismissed Marcus Stoinis with a catch off his own bowling. Stoinis had stuck with Mitchell Marsh, who was Australia’s top scorer with 44 runs, to put up 37 for the fifth wicket. Marsh then put up 42 for the sixth with Ashton Agar.

Marsh was dismissed by Kyle Jamieson after which Sodhi wiped off the rest of Australia’s batting lineup.

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Earlier, Daniel Sams dismissed New Zealand opener Martin Guptill off the third ball of the match after which Jhye Richardson got Tim Seifert for one run. Sams then snaffled the big wicket of New Zealand’s captain Kane Williamson, who fell for just 12 runs.

However, the Kiwis’ middle order, led by Conway, turned it around for the hosts. Conway’s 99 came in 59 balls as he hit 10 fours and three sixes. He put up a partnership of 74 runs with Glenn Philipps after which he put up 47 for the fifth wicket with James Neesham. He hit a six and a four off the fourth and fifth balls of the last over but could only take a single off the last ball, thus being stranded on 99.

Brief scores: New Zealand 184/5 in 20 overs (Devon Conway 99 not out, Glenn Phillips 30; Jhye Richardson 2/31) beat Australia 131 all out in 17.3 overs (Mitchell Marsh 45, Ashton Agar 23; Ish Sodhi 4/28)

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–IANS

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