Australia cruised to a second win in a row at Eden Park last night to claim the spoils in the Twenty20 tri-series.
They beat the Black Caps by 19 runs on the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method – rain brought an early end when they were 121-3 after 14.4 overs chasing 151.
It was a grind of a game, which made for a change from last Friday’s run fest, but Australia were never put under any sustained pressure, and didn’t look like stumbling.
Australia made just 22 in their first four overs, but openers David Warner and D’Arcy Short then added 33 more in the final two overs of the power play, but were forced to wait as rain began to fall.
Play resumed with no overs lost, and Short reached his 50 off 28 balls, pulling Colin Munro for four, but didn’t add any more, skying one down the throat of Mark Chapman at long on.
Ish Sodhi had been used to good effect in the power play, and returned in the 10th over, to jam Warner on the crease and bowl him for 25 off 23.
Mitch Santner then got Ashton Agar, promoted in the absence of Chris Lynn, who dislocated his shoulder fielding.
Rain returned with Glenn Maxwell and Aaron Finch at the crease, needing 30 off 32 balls. It persisted, so the DLS method was called for, and the tri-series ended in unusual fashion.Black Caps captain Kane Williamson chose to bat, just as he did last Friday, when Australia chased a record 244.
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The Black Caps spinners bowled extremely well – Sodhi took one for 20 from his four overs, and Santner one for 29 from 3.4 – but against the seamers, Australia looked comfortable.
But it was a bitter-sweet victory for Chris Lynn, who’s rotten injury run has continued with the powerful batsman dislocating his shoulder. Lynn left the ground in the hands of trainers midway through New Zealand’s innings after diving in the field and landing awkwardly on his right shoulder.
A team spokesman later confirmed Lynn had dislocated his shoulder and would be reassessed at the change of innings.
It continues a terrible run of luck for Lynn, who is among the most dominant batsmen in T20 cricket when fit.
The 27-year-old had his left shoulder reconstructed last year and had also struggled with calf and hamstring issues. Lynn earlier in the week said his body was feeling the best it had in recent memory.
‘‘These last four games that I’ve played, my confidence has gone through the roof with my physical preparation and intensity out on the field,’’ Lynn said. ‘‘The start of the series was a bit daunting for me, taking off for running and [knowing] whether I can dive or not.
‘‘Now every game, I’m getting less apprehensive and more confident.’’
Lynn’s injury struggles prompted him to pass up a state contract this summer with Queensland.He was also forced to pull out of Australia’s recent one-day international series against England with a calf issue.