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Ashton Agar strikes as Australia beat New Zealand in Tri-Series final

In doing so Australia posted their fifth straight T20 victory to take over the No. 1 world ranking in the format after starting the season ranked seventh.

Edited by: India TV Sports Desk, New Delhi [ Published on: February 21, 2018 16:34 IST ]
Image Source : GETTY IMAGES Ashton Agar, Glenn Maxwell celebrate after claiming a wicket in T20I tri-series final

Australia's left-arm spinner Ashton Agar took three wickets as Australia registered a 19-run win over New Zealand via Duckworth-Lewis method in the rain-affected final of the Twenty20 tri-series on Wednesday.

Agar first took a catch from the bowling of Kane Richardson to set in motion the collapse of the New Zealand top and middle order, then claimed the wickets of Kane Williamson (9), Mark Chapman (8) and Colin de Grandhomme (10) to give the collapse momentum.

With his four-over spell and contributions of 2/30 from both Richardson and Andrew Tye's four overs, Australia restricted New Zealand to 150/9, batting first after winning the toss.

D'Arcy Short then made 50 as Australia reached 121/3 in 14.4 overs, gaining a strong position in any Duckworth-Lewis calculation before rain ended the match.

In doing so they posted their fifth straight T20 victory to take over the No. 1 world ranking in the format after starting the season ranked seventh.

Australia ended the series unbeaten while New Zealand and England, which begin a five-match one-day international series on Sunday, had one win each.

"Right from the get-go, we played superb cricket," Australia captain David Warner said. 

"I just asked the guys to be clinical and try to execute everything that you do with the bat and the ball and energy in the field and I can't complain where the guys have been."

Short's second T20 international half-century, from 28 balls, guided Australia to 72/1 before the loss of their first wicket and made their win certain, in spite of heavy rain which twice interrupted the Australian innings.

They were already 20 runs ahead of New Zealand when rain first forced the players from the field for 20 minutes, and they needed 30 from 32 balls when the second, heavier downpour occurred.

Australia started their innings a man down after Chris Lynn suffered a dislocated shoulder while fielding, leaving the tourists without one of their top batsmen. That became an issue when the Australians found themselves 84/3 with just over 10 overs gone but they quickly recovered.

Although it was played on the same pitch, the match stood in stark contrast to the last meeting between the teams at Eden Park on Friday when Australia won by five wickets in a world-record run chase and in a match which fell one run short of becoming the highest-scoring in the history of Twenty20 Internationals. Australia made 245/5 in reply to New Zealand's 243/6 in a match which contained 32 sixes.

The strong start between Warner and Short put Australia in a position to weather both rain interruptions, even when the tourists lost three wickets in the space of fewer than three overs before the end.

"We had another good start but I thought through the middle, we didn't assess as well as we could have," Williamson said.

(With AP inputs)

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Group A

  • Teams Matches Wins Losses Points NRR
  • India 2 2 0 4 +1.474
  • Pakistan 2 1 1 2 +0.284
  • Hong Kong 2 0 2 0 -1.748

Group B

  • Teams Matches Wins Losses Points NRR
  • Afghanistan 2 2 0 4 +2.270
  • Bangladesh 2 1 1 2 +0.010
  • Sri Lanka 2 0 2 0 -2.280