A Devon Conway batting master class yesterday inspired New Zealand to a 53-run win over Australia in the opening T20 international in Christchurch.
Conway smashed an unbeaten 99 off 59 balls as the Black Caps overcame a shaky start to finish on 184-5 after losing the toss and being put in to bat.
In reply, the tourists were all out for 131 after 17.3 overs, with Black Caps spinner Ish Sodhi taking 4-28 to give the hosts an early edge in the five-match series.
Australia captain Aaron Finch refused to blame the loss on his team’s two-week COVID-19 quarantine upon arrival in New Zealand.
“It feels like a long time since we played, but we were treated brilliantly [in quarantine],” Finch said. “They just ran harder and we didn’t get it right.”
Jhye Richardson, fresh from signing a multimillion-dollar Indian Premier League contract, was the pick of the Australia bowlers, taking 2-31, but the tourists could not dislodge Conway, whose 59-ball knock included 10 fours and three sixes, helping the Black Caps bounce back from 19-3.
Conway said he was “pretty chuffed” with his career-best effort, even though he was stranded just short of a century after failing to take two runs off the final ball.
The South Africa-born batsman came to the crease with New Zealand teetering at 11-2 and was still settling in when captain Kane Williamson departed for 12.
“The key was to try to stay positive, that’s when I’m at my best,” Conway said. “I was trying not to think too far ahead and just build good partnerships.”
Australia then suffered a horror show early in their innings, as seamers Tim Southee and Trent Boult tore through the top order.
Luckless debutant Josh Philippe departed for 2 after sending a top-edge skyward, but old campaigners such as skipper Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell also failed to deal with the swinging ball, and the tourists were soon 19-4.
Mitch Marsh top-scored with 45 and Ashton Agar contributed 23 as a string of batting failures gave New Zealand a comfortable win.
While trans-Tasman bragging rights are up for grabs, both teams also enter the series with one eye on the T20 World Cup in India later this year.
Established Australia stars such as Steve Smith, David Warner and Mitchell Starc are being rested as the selectors look to unearth new talent.
‘ESCAPE FROM JUSTICE’: A US gymnast who trained under Geddert for more than 10 years and was assaulted by Larry Nassar called his suicide ‘an admission of guilt’ A former US Olympics gymnastics coach with ties to disgraced sports doctor Larry Nassar on Thursday killed himself, hours after being charged with turning his Michigan gym into a hub of human trafficking by coercing girls to train and then abusing them. John Geddert faced 24 charges that could have carried years in prison had he been convicted. He was supposed to appear in an Eaton County court, near Lansing, Michigan, but his body was found at a rest area along Interstate 96, state police said. “This is a tragic end to a tragic story for everyone involved,” Michigan Attorney General Dana
Constructing intricate models with Lego has become an important part of preparation for French Open champion Iga Swiatek and the 19-year-old Pole is confident her game is shaping up for success on all kinds of surfaces. The 19-year-old Pole last year became the youngest woman to win the Roland Garros title since Monica Seles in 1992 and on Saturday she picked up the second trophy of her career at the Adelaide International. Swiatek has often attributed her success to her sports psychologist Daria Abramowicz, who has helped the Polish player improve her mental strength and process her thoughts during intense matches. Work on
BARTY PARTY OVER: After crashing out on Wednesday, Ashleigh Barty pulled out of the Qatar Open with a left leg injury, and hit back at Australians’ unrealistic expectations Coco Gauff and Jil Teichmann yesterday advanced to the Adelaide International semi-finals after three-set wins on the Memorial Drive hard courts. The 16-year-old Gauff beat Shelby Rogers 2-6, 6-4, 6-4, and Teichmann defeated Anastasija Sevastova 6-4 ,6-7 (8/10), 7-5. Gauff has won five straight matches in Adelaide, including two in qualifying, since her second-round loss to fifth-seeded Elina Svitolina at the Australian Open. She and Rogers had an extended rally in the ninth game of the third set, which Gauff won after setting up game point with a cross-court return. Gauff next faces second-seeded Belinda Bencic, who beat Storm Sanders 6-2, 6-4. Teichmann had five
RUTHLESS FORM: The 19-year-old Iga Swiatek downed world No. 12 Belinda Bencic 6-2, 6-2 to claim the second title of her career, after winning Roland Garros last year French Open champion Iga Swiatek yesterday crushed world No. 12 Belinda Bencic in straight sets to claim the Adelaide International at Memorial Drive. The 19-year-old Pole was in ruthless form as she downed Bencic 6-2, 6-2 to claim the second title of her career. Swiatek burst onto the tennis scene at Roland Garros last year when she claimed the French Open crown, defeating then world No. 6 Sofia Kenin in the final. She started strongly against Bencic and never eased up, breaking her Swiss opponent twice in each set to wrap up a comfortable win. Both players were untroubled, holding their opening service games