SYDNEY: Openers' rampage helps New Zealand post the highest T20 World Cup score against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday. Devon Conway (92*) and Finn Allen (40) toyed with the Australian bowlers to post a mammoth 200/3 against Australia, setting up a challenging chase for the Aussie batters.
Opting to bat first, New Zealand got off to a flier with openers Finn Allen and Devon Conway taking the attack to the Australian pace bowlers. Allen came out all guns blazing, going after the Aussie bowlers from the word go, smashing 14 runs off the first over.
Allen hit Mitchell Starc for two boundaries and a six to start off the inning. Conway too started aggressively smashing two boundaries off Josh Hazlewood, while Allen also struck the pacer for a boundary.
Allen continued his onslaught in the third over and treated Pat Cummins the same way he dealt with Starc and smashed the pacer for 17 runs.
Captain Aaron Finch had to bring on Marcus Stoinis in the fourth over, bringing on the fourth change in the same number of overs, desperately looking for a wicket. Stoinis was also sent over the ropes by Allen, bringing the Kiwi team's fifty inside four overs.
Finch brought back the world's number one T20I bowler Josh Hazlewood to end the Allen rampage, with the pacer getting dismissed on a perfectly bowled yorker.
Allen scored 42 off 16 deliveries, giving New Zealand a quick start with the team ending at 65/1 after the powerplay. Kiwi captain Kane Williamson walked in at number three and was watchful with his batting, prompting Conway to pick up the role of the aggressor.
Conway looked to put leg-spinner Adam Zampa under pressure and went after him, smashing him for a boundary and a six taking the team to 97-1 after the 10-over mark.
Conway brought up his fifty in 36 deliveries smashing a huge six off Zampa. Williamson did smack Stoinis for a six but looked scratchy in his stay of 23 runs.
He was sent back to the pavilion by Zampa in the 13th over. Glenn Philips looked to attack but was dismissed by Hazlewood in the 16th over. Conway found an able partner in James Neesham as they plundered the Aussie bowlers for 48 runs in the last four overs, helping the team get to the 200-mark. Neesham remained unbeaten on 26(13) while Conway narrowly missed a century to end up on 92*.
Hazlewood once again was the pick of the Aussie bowlers as he picked two wickets for 41 runs.
Brief Score: New Zealand 200/3 (Devon Conway 92, Finn Allen 40; Josh Hazlewood 2/41).