Conway’s 99* sets up big NZ win

New Zealand's Devon Conway on his way to an unbeaten 99 during game one of the men’s...
New Zealand's Devon Conway on his way to an unbeaten 99 during game one of the men’s international T20 series against Australia at Hagley Oval in Christchurch yesterday. Photo: Getty Images
Devon Conway — glad he did not go home to South Africa last winter.

The left-hander — who looked every inch the essential worker last night — hit a swashbuckling unbeaten 99 for the Black Caps to help catapult his side to a 53-run win over Australia in the opening match of the twenty20 series in Christchurch.

Conway smacked the ball direct to deep point off the last ball of the innings and could not get back for two runs to bring up his century.

His near-century, which included 10 fours and three sixes, and made off just 59 balls, helped the Black Caps to 184 for five wickets off their 20 overs.

Conway, who qualified for New Zealand in August having moved here from South Africa in 2017, found the gaps with ease and was strong square of the wicket.

That was always going to be a tough target for the visiting team, and it was in all sorts of trouble at 24 for four after five overs.

It ended up well short, finishing on 131 in the 18th over.

Tim Southee and Trent Boult took a couple of wickets each at the start and Australia was in the mire. Conway took two catches at the start to complete a five-ace hand.

Mitch Marsh then hit some boundaries, but the climb was getting steep. When Marcus Stoinis went, the odds weighed heavily towards the home team.

New Zealand was smelling blood and had the ball moving about as the Australians looked ill at ease to both seam and spin.

When Marsh went to a smart Mitchell Santner catch Australia was 98 for six with just seven overs left.

Ish Sodhi picked up four wickets as Australia pushed on unsuccessfully.

The Black Caps had made a poor start to their innings and were on the ropes after four overs after being sent in by Australia.

The top three were all back in the pavilion and the Australian bowing attack appeared to be well on top.

Martin Guptill holed out off the third ball of the innings while Tim Seifert had his wickets
skittled by a quick ball from Jhye Richardson.

When skipper Kane Williamson edged the ball behind at the end of the fourth over, the home side was up a waterway without a propelling instrument. It ended up 33 for three wickets at the end of the first six overs — and power play — which was well below what was needed.

Glenn Phillips had joined Conway and the duo started finding the boundary with relative ease.

Phillips hit some lusty blows before he departed with a quickfire 30 off 20 balls.

Conway kept knocking the ball round and got help from Jimmy Neesham. They added 47 from 27 balls.

Conway then took over in the last four overs as the home team hit 42 runs off the final four overs, including 33 off the final two, largely thanks to Conway.

 

 

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