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|Colin de Grandhomme||10||6||1||0||166.67|
It will be a clash between the hosts and their neighbours in the Final match of the Trans-Tasman T20 Tri Series at Auckland on 21st February, after the Kiwis made it through by finishing 2nd with 2 points and a better run rate than England. Australia had topped the table with 8 points after winning all 4 matches and dominating the other teams; they will be eager to lift the trophy by repeating their winning performance against the hosts on Wednesday.
They failed to chase down 195 runs against England in the last match but managed to make it to the finals due to better run rate. Despite Trent Boult and Tim Southee picking up regular wickets, the English batsmen found their footing and built a huge total, which the Kiwis found difficult to reach. Guptill and Colin Munro posted a 78-run opening stand but others like Williamson, Ross Taylor and Colin de Grandhomme failed to impress. Mark Chapman, the young all-rounder contributed with 37 runs, but they lost the match by a meagre 2 runs.
When they met Australia on the same ground earlier, the hosts had suffered a shocking defeat after failing to defend a humungous total of 243 runs. Boult and Southee took a wicket each but proved to be expensive along with others like Ben Wheeler and Grandhomme. Spinner Ish Sidhi took a wicket in an economical way but his efforts went in vain as they lost the match in the end.
The Kiwis have a well-balanced mix of spinners and pacers, who could give them the edge here to stifle the Aussies; if they are able to build a good foundation with the bat, then they could stun the visitors.
Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, KS Williamson, Mark Chapman, Ross Taylor, Colin de Grandhomme, Tim Seifert, Mitchell Santner, TG Southee, TA Boult, IS Sodhi.
Chasing 244 runs in the last match against New Zealand, captain David Warner scored a brilliant 59 runs while the in-form batsman D’Arcy Short top-scored with 76 off 44 to keep the scoreboard ticking. Maxwell and Finch stabilized the innings from the middle-order, scoring 31 and 36 runs respectively, and took the team across the finish line with an over to spare. Earlier, pacers Richardson and Andrew Tye took 2 wickets each but gave away too many runs. Spinner Ashton Agar also took a wicket and was the most economical of the lot, but they ended up facing a stiff target.
Australia has dominated throughout the series, and their earlier match against England showcased their bowling strength in which Richardson claimed 3-33 and pacer Stanlake took 2 wickets in regular intervals. Andrew Tye also dismissed one opponent and brings variety to the attack along with others like Agar, Stoinis and Richardson. They successfully restricted England to 137 runs and the batsmen then gunned down the target thanks to a good combined effort by Maxwell, Finch, Lynn and Short.
The Aussies are a power-packed team with several match-winners on their side; they have shown to be a versatile team and could prove to be a formidable force to reckon with on Wednesday.
David Warner, D'Arcy Short, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, Aaron Finch, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey, Ashton Agar, AJ Tye, KW Richardson, Billy Stanlake.
Australia leads the pack and are clear favourites to win the title here; however, we feel that the Kiwis with the home advantage will be motivated to put up a better performance and give a tough challenge to the visitors. While it is expected to go either way, Australians have done better in the series as compared to the Kiwis and are certainly better placed to emerge victorious here.
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