WATCH : David-Marsh outdo Conway-Ravindra carnage to produce all-time great finish

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Electing to bat first, New Zealand brought back memories of their dominant performance against Australia in the 2022 T20 World Cup, as Finn Allen and Devon Conway took Josh Hazlewood and Glenn Maxwell to task early on. Within just five overs, the Kiwis raced to 59 runs, setting a blistering pace.

However, Mitchell Marsh’s introduction of Mitchell Starc turned the tide, with the left-arm quick dismissing Allen after his quickfire 32 off just 17 balls. A momentary slowdown occurred as Rachin Ravindra struggled to find his rhythm, reaching 14 runs off 16 balls by the halfway mark, with the score at 97/1. But then, momentum shifted once again as Ravindra unleashed an onslaught, hammering Adam Zampa for four boundaries in two overs to reach his fifty off just 29 balls.

Conway also reached his fifty off 34 balls, breaking free from a period of low scores. Together, they put on 113 runs at a strike rate exceeding 175. However, their departure in quick succession to Pat Cummins and Marsh paved the way for Mark Chapman and Glenn Phillips to add 41 runs in the last four overs, pushing the total to 215/3.

In response, David Warner and Travis Head debuted as opening partners in T20Is but couldn’t replicate their success from longer formats, as Adam Milne dismissed Head in the fourth over with 29 runs on the board. Warner and skipper Marsh then aggressively scored 22 runs off Tim Southee’s over, ensuring a strong powerplay score of 56/1.

With the fielding restrictions lifted, Santner came into the attack and was initially punished by Warner but had the last laugh, dismissing the veteran soon after. Glenn Maxwell’s quick cameo of 25 runs off just 10 balls maintained the scoring rate, but Lockie Ferguson’s pace claimed his wicket. Marsh, on the other hand, reached his fifty off 29 balls despite a dropped chance by Glenn Phillips.

However, Josh Inglis’ steady 20 runs off as many balls meant Australia still required 43 runs off the last three overs. Ferguson’s tight bowling in the 18th over, conceding just eight runs, seemed to seal the game, but Tim David’s explosive 32 off 10 balls, including a crucial flick on the last ball for four, secured a thrilling victory for Australia in a remarkable finish.

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