ON THIS DAY IN 2018: On an incredible day of Twenty20 cricket, Australia pulled off the highest successful run chase in the format’s history to beat New Zealand by five wickets in Auckland. The fifth match of the Trans-Tasman T20I series on February 16, 2018, saw 488 runs put on board, with Australia trumping the run-fest in the end.
Earlier in the roller-coaster match, the Black Caps posted 243/6 in their quota of 20 overs. Openers Martin Guptill and Colin Munro hammered 132 for the first wicket in less than 11 overs. Munro departed for 76 from just 33 balls but Guptill continued the carnage as he brought his second T20I ton from just 49 deliveries. In the process, he topped compatriot Brendon McCullum’s record of 50 deliveries as the fastest T20 hundred by a New Zealand cricketer. Andrew Tye was the most expensive Australian bowler, as he gave away 64 runs in four overs and picked up two wickets.
In reply, the Kangaroos made a flying start as skipper David Warner scored 59 (from 24 balls), and his opening partner D’Arcy Short, who made 76 (off 33 deliveries), set the tone in reaching 91 without loss after six overs. The opening pair put on a 121-run partnership before Kiwi spinner Ish Sodhi bowled the Australian captain on 59. Post Warner’s departure, Short anchored the innings before Trent Boult, had him caught behind.
Chris Lynn (18 from 13 balls), Glen Maxwell (31 from 14 deliveries), and Aaron Finch (unbeaten 36 off 14 balls) played entertaining cameos. And then when they needed four to win, Finch blasted Colin de Grandhomme for the winning six to cruise his team to victory with more than an over remaining. New Zealand’s Ben Wheeler leaked 64 runs in 3.1 overs and had to be taken out of the attack after delivering two high no-balls.
In the end, the gluttonous encounter that day produced 32 sixes over both innings and was a night to remember for cricket fans.
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