Australia are aiming to continue their Tri-Series dominance with their fourth straight win, but they have their work cut out against a rejuvenated New Zealand at bogey venue Eden Park. Palmerbet Sports Team preview a mouth-watering trans-Tasman T20I showdown!
History: Played 7: Australia 5 V New Zealand 2.
Last meeting: February 3, 2018: Australia d New Zealand by 7 wickets at SCG.
Final Thoughts: Australia are already through to next week’s Tri-Series final after winning their first three games, while New Zealand are looking to clinch their place in the decider after an impressive form turnaround on Tuesday.
Australia crushed the Black Caps by seven wickets in the February 3 Tri-Series opener, with bowling duo Billy Stanlake (3/15) and Andrew Tye (4/23) restricting New Zealand to just 9/117.
They then crushed England back-to-back by five wickets and seven wickets, Glenn Maxwell (103* and 39) top-scoring in both wins.
The Kiwis bounced back strongly when they hosted England in Wellington this week, winning by 12 runs after Martin Guptill (65) and Kane Williamson (72) steered them to 5/196. Some clutch bowling from Trent Boult and Mitchell Santner down the stretch extinguished a promising England chase.
This is the trans-Tasman rivals’ first encounter at Eden Park in this format since the inaugural Twenty20 International back in 2005, which Australia won by 44 runs. But the small ground has been a graveyard for the Aussies in recent times, with the Black Caps winning their last three ODIs against Australia in Auckland.
With home advantage and momentum on their side, New Zealand look solid value as $2.31 outsiders – but Australia’s form could hardly have been more impressive in the Tri-Series so far, out-of-sorts skipper David Warner aside.
Boult has an excellent record against Australia in limited-overs cricket and will lead the charge for the hosts on Friday night.