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New Zealand v Australia second T20I preview: Aussies aim to seal series win

Tim David was the hero of the hour as he smoked five boundaries from the final nine balls of the match to see the Aussies home, punching the final delivery from Tim Southee through mid-wicket to clinch the victory.

Now the test is to see whether that victory can be backed up with another which would mean that the series was decided with one match still to play.

What

New Zealand v Australia, 2nd T20I

Where

Eden Park Auckland

When

17:10 (AEDT), Friday 23rd February 2024

How to watch

Channel 7, Foxtel, Kayo

Odds

New Zealand 2.75, Australia 1.44

Skipper Marsh takes the lead

While David was the talk of the town for his unbeaten 31 from just 10 balls faced, the contribution of captain Mitchell Marsh in Wellington cannot be overlooked.

Marsh did not bowl at all during the recent 20-over series at home to the West Indies, but did so against the Black Caps in the absence of fellow all-rounder Marcus Stoinis and stood up well.

His figures of 1-21 from three overs were the most economical of all the Baggy Greens bowlers as New Zealand racked up 215-3.

Marsh - 8.50 to be Player of the Match on Friday - then backed that up that 72 not out from 44 balls to give the Aussies hope of snatching a victory which was finally secured by the big hitting of David.

That, along with the fact that all four batters dismissed for Australia got decent starts, means that there is seemingly little to worry about on that front for the showdown on Friday, although Steve Smith looks set for a recall.

The bowling attack may need looking at, however, especially after spinners Adam Zampa and Glenn Maxwell took some real punishment, conceding ten boundaries from the five overs they bowled collectively.

Leg-spinner Zampa, such a key figure in the 50-over World Cup triumph last year, conceded a Australian record 65 in the series finale against West Indies and went for 42 in the series opener against the Black Caps.

However, he is the only frontline spinner in the Aussie squad so may be retained and he can be backed at 4.75 to be Team - Top Bowler on Friday.

Should Zampa be dropped, pacemen Nathan Ellis and Spencer Johnson are standing by to push their T20 World Cup claims.

Black Caps look for Boult inspiration

Black Caps stalwart Southee has played his final part in the series and has been replaced by fellow long-serving paceman Trent Boult for the next two matches.

And, in truth, Boult will come into a side that did little wrong on Wednesday and looked for almost the whole of the match to be heading for the win.

Particularly pleasing would have been to see another 50-over World Cup star, Rachin Ravindra, show what he can do in the shortest international format.

The left-hander’s highest score in 17 previous T20I innings was a mere 21, so seeing him make 69 from 35 balls and clear the ropes six times will have been a big boost for the Black Caps.

The same can be said for another leftie, as Devon Conway found some touch after a lean trot with the willow against South Africa, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Conway made 63 from 46 deliveries and added 113 for the second wicket in partnership with Ravindra, a partnership which was almost enough to see the hosts home, before David decided the result in Australia’s favour.

Conway is 2.10 to make 30+ runs on Friday, with fellow batter Ravindra available at 2.10 in the same market, although Australia are 1.44 hot fancies to wrap up a series victory.

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