NZ beats Australia by 7 wickets, wins T20 series 3-2

Wellington, Mar 07 (AP): Ish Sodhi led a concerted attack by New Zealand’s spin bowlers before Martin Guptill smashed a quickfire 71 runs to set up a seven-wicket win over Australia in the fifth Twenty20 international on Sunday and a 3-2 win in the five-match series.
Leg spinner Sodhi came into the match as the leading wicket-taker in the series with 10 at an average of 18 and improved to 13 at 11.8, taking 3-24 as Australia was held 142-8 after choosing to bat on winning the toss.
New Zealand surpassed that total with 27 balls to spare, steered by Guptill and Devon Conway who put on 106 for the first wicket in 11.5 overs.
Sodhi was supported during Australia’s innings by left-armer Mitchell Santner who took the new ball and bowled his four overs at a cost of only 21 runs. Having noted the influence of spin in the previous match in the series, New Zealand also used part-time spinners Mark Chapman, who took 1-9 from two overs, and Glen Phillips whose two overs cost 21 runs.
The spinners shared 12 of New Zealand’s 20 overs, more than in any of the Black Caps’ previous T20 internationals. That followed Australia’s record in the fourth match when Aston Agar, Adam Zampa and Glenn Maxwell bowled 11 overs. The drop-in pitch at Sky Stadium hosted the last three matches of the series in the space of six days. Australia made 208-4 in the third match, winning by 64 runs, but in the fourth on a pitch which had slowed considerably and favored spin it defended a total of just 156-6, winning by 50 runs.
Until Sunday, each match in the series had been won by the team batting first. New Zealand won the first two by 53 runs and four runs but hadn’t previously been able to put together a substantial innings when chasing in Wellington.

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