Australia’s title defense got off to a dreadful start in Sydney, as they were bowled out for 111 runs in response to Devon Conway’s magnificent unbroken 92 that helped New Zealand score 200-3.
Conway’s knock consisted of seven fours and two sixes off 58 balls, joining a small group of players who have scored 90 or more at the World Cup. Each of Mitchell Santner and Tim Southee claimed three wickets.
It was New Zealand’s first victory versus Australia in Australia since 2011 in any format.
The match at the sold-out Sydney Cricket Ground was a rematch of the 2021 final in Dubai, which Australia won by eight wickets to claim its first-ever title.
The men of Aaron Finch now have their work cut out for them in Group 1 with Afghanistan, England, and qualifiers Ireland and Sri Lanka in their way. Only the top two teams advance to the semifinals.
Finn Allen smashed two fours and a six off Mitchell Starc’s opening over to get New Zealand off to a fantastic start after Finch sent them in to bat.
Conway then smashed two ferocious boundaries off Josh Hazlewood as the Black Caps amassed 29 runs in the opening two overs.
Adam Zampa dismissed Allen in the following over, while Pat Cummins was similarly dismissed for 17 runs.
However, the youthful right-good hander’s fortune ran out when Hazlewood returned and the shrewd pace spearhead dismissed him for 42 off only 16 balls as he attacked the crease.
The entrance of Marcus Stoinis and Zampa helped slow the flow of runs, but Conway reached 50 with a six off Zampa, who also bowled Kane Williamson (23) leg before wicket in the same over.
Glenn Phillips was dismissed by Hazlewood for 12 before Jimmy Neesham smashed a six off the penultimate ball to reach 200.
David Warner, the tournament’s most valuable player in 2021, was dismissed for three in the second over by Southee after dragging the ball onto his stumps.
Finch (13) smashed a massive six from Trent Boult, but he didn’t stay long, striking Santner straight to Williamson at cover as his poor form persisted.
We can reveal that this catch from Glenn Phillips is one of the moments that could be featured in your @0xFanCraze Crictos of the Game packs from Australia v New Zealand.
— T20 World Cup (@T20WorldCup) October 22, 2022
Mitchell Marsh experienced a similar fate, scoring 16 before being caught by Neesham attempting another slog with Australia teetering at 34-2 in the fifth over.
Stoinis was dismissed for seven by Phillips, who made one of the best catches of the tournament thus far by leaping the length of his body to his left as he ran from deep cover.
And when big-hitting Tim David, who was preferred over Steve Smith, became Santner’s third victim, he was dismissed for 11 with the score at 68-5 in the eleventh over, the game was all but over.
Their last chance was Matthew Wade (2) and Glenn Maxwell (28), as the tailenders offered little fight.
Australia will play Sri Lanka in Perth on Tuesday, but New Zealand will play Afghanistan in Melbourne the following day.