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Cricket: Tim David blasts Australia to unlikely T20 win over NZ

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In a dominant display of lower-order hitting, Tim David put together an incredible knock under pressure to secure a remarkable last-ball victory for Australia in the T20I series opener against New Zealand on Wednesday night.

Needing 26 off the final eight deliveries, David was able to take it down to the last delivery before he somehow punched a Tim Southee yorker down to the mid-wicket boundary with four runs to win.

With the small outfield of Wellington Stadium and a batter-friendly pitch, it was clear from the outset that it was going to be a high-scoring affair when New Zealand won the toss and elected to bat.

A destructive Finn Allen (32 off 17 balls) cameo got the Black Caps off to a flying start, with the home side managing 68 runs from their first six overs with the field up.

The top-order pair of Devon Conway (63 off 46 balls) and Rachin Ravindra (68 off 35 balls) then did the majority of the work as they toyed with the Aussie fielders.

After those two fell in consecutive deliveries with four overs to go, it was Glenn Phillips (19* off 10 balls) who put the finishing touches on the innings as NZ posted a daunting total of 215.

On a tough day for the Aussie bowlers, it was captain Mitchell Marsh who stood up, taking 1-21 off his three overs as the only economical bowler.

It was a particularly rough day for the spinners, with Glenn Maxwell (0-32 off 2 overs) and Adam Zampa (0-42 off 3 overs) combining to go at 15 runs an over through the tough middle stage of the innings.

Kicking off Australia’s innings, it was similarly frenetic as Travis Head (24 off 15 balls) and David Warner (32 off 20 balls) got the visitors off to an excellent start.

Coming in at three, Marsh then served as the anchor throughout the innings as the likes of Maxwell (25 off 11 balls) and Josh Inglis (20 off 20 balls) fell around him.

When David made his way to the crease, the Aussies needed 44 runs off just 19 balls as the game looked almost out of reach.

But doing what he is known for, David was able to tee off straight away as he blasted an unbeaten 31 from 10 balls — including three sixes and two fours in the final nine deliveries of the match.

Black Caps quick Lachie Ferguson was the only bowler who had any success in containing the Aussies with 1-23 off his four overs as each of the other four bowlers went at over 10 runs an over.

Man-of-the-match honours went to Marsh, who finished up with 72 not out off 44 balls in addition to his excellent bowling performance.

“I haven’t bowled myself too much as captain,” he said post-match.

“I thought I’d better start bowling at some point.

“It’s always nice to contribute, being that sixth bowling option for us if things get tight.

“It’s always nice to chip in with the ball.”

Marsh was full of praise for David’s match-winning efforts at the death.

“That was incredible,” he said.

“That’s exactly why he’s in this team. He’s been incredible over the last two years in all T20 tournaments around the world.

“It was a pleasure to watch.”

The second T20I is scheduled for this Friday, with top cricket bookmakers favouring the Aussies at -227.27 to win, whereas New Zealand are paying +175 to even the series.

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