New Zealand vs Australia | Guptill shines as NZ edges Australia

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Kiwi opener returns to form with a blistering 97; Stoinis’ knock goes in vain for visitors

Martin Guptill returned to form with a blistering 97 as New Zealand held on for a nail-biting win over Australia in the second Twenty20 International here on Thursday.

The Black Caps set Australia a challenging target of 220 after losing the toss but were made to sweat as Australia came within four runs of victory.

Both sides took advantage of University Oval’s short boundaries in a thrilling match that featured 30 sixes and 434 runs at an average of 10.9 an over.

Marcus Stoinis starred for the Australians with 78 off 37 balls, but Guptill’s 97 off 50 laid the foundation for New Zealand’s win.

Black Caps spinner Mitchell Santner also shone amid the batting fireworks, taking four for 31, while Australia paceman Kane Richardson managed three for 43.

New Zealand allrounder Jimmy Neesham was another exceptional performer, taking two wickets in the final over when a rampant Australia needed 15 runs for victory. Neesham also scored an undefeated 45, including six sixes.

Sixes record

Guptill’s innings gave him the record for the most sixes in Twenty20 Internationals with 132, taking him past India’s Rohit Sharma on 127.

He fell just short of his third Twenty20 century after being caught trying to hit a Daniel Sams delivery out of the ground.

The scores:

New Zealand 219/7 in 20 overs (Martin Guptill 97, Kane Williamson 53, James Neesham 45 n.o., Kane Richardson 3/43) bt Australia 215/8 in 20 overs (Josh Phillipe 45, Marcus Stoinis 78, Daniel Sams 41, Mitchell Santner 4/31). New Zealand won by four runs and leads 5-match series 2-0.

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