Runs rained at the Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium in Fatullah during the trans-Tasman ICC World Twenty20 warm-up battle as the southerners fell only three runs short in chase of Australia's 200 runs yesterday.
Little dynamo David Warner and a solidly-built Aaron Finch issued an warning that they were ready to challenge the other big guns to put an end to their drought in the newest format's biggest global competition.
The Aussie opening pair put the New Zealand attack to sword and both retired after sharing a 113-run stand in eight overs. While Finch was in an aggressive mood to hit to the fences as he smote nine fours against a six during his 22-ball 47, left-hander Warner chose the aerial route and cleared the boundary on five occasions during his 26-ball 65, that also included seven fours.
Shane Watson (27), George Bailey (19) and Brad Hodge (25) also had some batting practice during the run-spree where two Kiwi slow bowlers Kane Williamson and Roneel Hira faced the heat most.
Pacer Kyle Mills however was the only one exceptional in the frenzy as he conceded only 21 runs in four overs and claimed two wickets.
New Zealand opener Martin Guptill however was not ready to surrender without a fight as he smashed five fours and four sixes during his 34-ball 62 that laid a foundation for the Black Caps to avoid their second defeat in the practice matches, but left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc removed Corey Anderson (29) and Luke Ronchi (21) in the 19th over to deprive them. New Zealand failed to steal nine runs from last six balls with three wickets in hand.
WEST INDIES-SRI LANKA
West Indies gained a momentum by winning both warm-up games in defence of their title as they beat Sri Lanka by 33 runs at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.
The Caribbean win was shaped by Dwayne Smith's fine 60 runs, and then some good bowling from spinner Sunil Narine and pacer Dwayne Bravo, the duo shared seven wickets between them, kept down the Lankans to 139.
Earlier, West Indies put up a fighting total of 172 runs thanks to Smith's 45-ball knock that included eight fours and two straight sixes and Bravo's 31-ball 43 that featured six sweetly timed boundaries. And then it was Darren Sammy who gave a superb finishing by hitting two sixes and a four during his unbeaten 14-ball 30.