Mitchells bowl tight for NZ to stifle Australia in World T20
DHARAMSALA, India (AP):
Mitchell McClenaghan and Mitchell Santner shared crucial strikes and five wickets as New Zealand defeated Australia by eight runs for a second consecutive win in Group Two of the World Twenty20 yesterday.
Spinners were the star turn for New Zealand when they beat India by 47 runs in their first game, but pace bowler McClenaghan, who replaced Nathan McCullum, complemented them as New Zealand emerged with a strong reputation midway into their Super 10 engagements.
Left-armer McClenaghan finished with 3-17 and accounted for Shane Watson (13), Mitchell Marsh (24) and Ashton Agar (9). Left-arm spinner Santner followed up his four-for against India with 2-30, getting rid of big names David Warner and Steven Smith.
"It was nice to perform like that, but it was a collective effort," McClenaghan said after being named Man of the Match. "The spinners were fantastic and got us back in the game. It's nice to show some teams that we can play in these conditions."
Australia were 100-4 after 15 overs, and relatively cruising, but collapsed in losing five wickets for 34 runs, four of those wickets in the last two overs.
Opener Usman Khawaja started with a flourish in driving and pulling balls to the boundaries, but his 38 off 27 balls - with six fours - did not take Australia far, as he was run out; and Santner soon took his pair.
Glenn Maxwell used the reverse-sweep to some effect for a useful 22, and Marsh tried hard with a valiant 24, but Australia lost control and were left to get 19 runs by the time Corey Anderson (2-29) came on to bowl the last over.
"I thought 150 was par," Australia captain Smith said. "Their spinners bowled extremely well and we didn't respond well. We lost wickets in clumps and couldn't get any partnerships together."
Earlier, left-arm pace bowler James Faulkner and off-spinner Glenn Maxwell returned identical figures of 3-0-18-2 to help restrict the Kiwis on a slow pitch.
New Zealand got off to a brisk start as opener Martin Guptill struck 39 off 27 balls with two fours and four sixes. He put on 61 with captain Kane Williamson before he was caught by Maxwell at long on off Faulkner. Williamson followed him five runs later as he fell to Maxwell for 24 off 20 with four fours.
Grant Elliott (27) and Colin Munro (23) chipped in with useful efforts to help put up a fighting score.
"We were fortunate to play on two wickets so similar," Williamson said. "We adopted similar tactics."