Australia has lost the second T20 clash against New Zealand in dramatic fashion, the Kiwis securing victory after a stunning last six balls in Napier.
The result rollercoaster tilted both team’s way at stages in the final 20 balls before a french cut for four, off the last ball of the final over, delivered the home team a series-levelling win.
The Kiwis were cruising at 2/81 in the 11th over, chasing a below-par Aussie total of 4/129, before a batting collapse put the visitors on top.
Australian seamer Megan Schutt took two wickets in two balls and New Zealand went from 2/81 and flying to 6/101 and battling.
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The Kiwis suddenly needed 29 runs off the final three overs with two new batters at the crease.
But Maddy Green and Hannah Rowe smashed five fours between them, and took 12 off the penultimate over from Schutt, to put victory within their grasp.
Nicola Carey was preferred to Ellyse Perry to bowl the final six balls, and was hit for four straight away, leaving a target of five runs from four balls for victory.
But Carey held her nerve, bowling two dots and giving up just three singles, meaning the Kiwis needed three runs from the final ball to level the series.
French cut for the win – NZ win off the final ball to level the series 1-1 #NZvAUSpic.twitter.com/8mzNYD8L3Z
Carey bowled it full, Green got an inside edge which ran between the keeper and short fine leg, all the way to the boundary for a special victory.
“I’d back our bowlers to defend 21 off 12 … but when you need three off the last four balls it can go either way,” Australian opener Beth Mooney said after the loss.
The agony and ecstasy of New Zealand’s last-ball win.Source:Supplied
Mooney was the only Aussie batter to get going, notching 61 not out from 54 balls.
Teenage fast bowler Darcie Brown made her international debut and collected her maiden wicket for Australia in the first innings.
Brown, who only turned 18 this month, was presented her cap by fellow South Australian Schutt.
She was preferred to fellow fast bowler Tayla Vlaeminck, who coach Matthew Mott said would only play three or four matches during the three T20I and three ODI tour.
But Perry, who didn’t bowl in the opening game, was limited to just one over as the Kiwis took the attack to the Aussies, getting on top early before needing the spectacular late hitting to get home.
The series will now go to Eden Park in Auckland for the deciding game on Thursday.
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