Australia on top after beating NZ in T20 final

Australia''s bowlers avenged that pasting as they tore through New Zealand''s middle order, led by spinner Ashton Agar''s career-best T20 figures for three for 27.

AFP
Auckland, Publish Date: Feb 22 2018 12:03AM | Updated Date: Feb 22 2018 12:03AM
Australia  on top after beating NZ in T20 finalFile Photo

Australia cruised to a 19-run victory in a rain-affected T20 tri-series final with New Zealand today to claim the world number one ranking in the shortest form of the game for the first time.

New Zealand struggled to 150 for nine after electing to bat first at Auckland's Eden Park but failing to repeat the pyrotechnics that saw them score 243 against Australia at the same ground last Friday.

Australia's bowlers avenged that pasting as they tore through New Zealand's middle order, led by spinner Ashton Agar's career-best T20 figures for three for 27.

Ross Taylor's 43 of 38 balls was the highlight of a poor New Zealand batting display that included just five sixes, despite Eden Park's notoriously short boundaries.

Australia never looked in danger of missing the 151-run target but the manner in which the victory came was anti-climatic.

The players were off the pitch when officials decided to abandon the match due to persistent rain, awarding Australia a 19-run win under the Duckworth-Lewis system. The result means David Warner's men complete the tri-series undefeated, notching convincing wins in all their five matches against New Zealand and England. It also means Australia leapfrog Pakistan to become the top-rated T20 team, the first time they have held the number one spot since rankings were introduced in 2011. 

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