Sydney: New Zealand completely outclassed Australia in their opening encounter of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup at the SCG in Sydney as they defeated the hosts by a massive margin of 89 runs, riding on a superb knock of 92 not out from Devon Conway and an exceptional performance by the bowlers.
New Zealand got off to a flying start after Australia skipper Aaron Finch asked them to bat first after winning the toss. Conway and Fin Allen smashed the Australian bowlers all around the ground as they built an opening stand of 56 in just four overs.
Josh Hazlewood gave Australia the first breakthrough as he cleaned up Allen for a well-made 42 from 16 deliveries. But Conway carried on and remained unbeaten right until the end. At one point, it looked like he will easily get to his century but Jimmy Neesham took most of the strike in the last few overs, scoring 26 runs from just 13 deliveries.
Conway remained unbeaten on 92 from just 58 deliveries, an innings consisting of seven fours and two sixes, as the Kiwis ended their innings on a total of 200/3.
Australia were expected to respond well to the chase on a good batting surface and in conditions that are very familiar to them. Instead, they got absolutely outclassed by the Kiwi bowlers as they got bundled up for a paltry total of 111 with 17 deliveries still remaining in their innings.
Glenn Maxwell (28) and Pat Cummins (21) were the only players who went past 20 in the Australian innings, as the rest of the line-up fell like a pack of cards.
Tim Southee and Mitchell Santner picked up three wickets each while Trent Boult also bowled well to claim a couple of wickets. The likes of Lockie Ferguson and Ish Sodhi also picked up a wicket each.
This loss has dealt a big blow to Australia's Net Run Rate (NRR), which stands at -4.450 right now. Aaron Finch and his men still have to face England, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka in their group and these sides have the ability increase their miseries further.
Australia face Sri Lanka next in Perth on October 25 and a big win will be of utmost importance to their chances of qualification for the semifinals.(UNI)