HomeAustralia Vs. England ODI Series 2018Ashton Agar strikes thrice to hand Australia an easy...

Ashton Agar strikes thrice to hand Australia an easy T20 final win against New Zealand

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The much-anticipated tri-series T20 finals featuring Australia, New Zealand had only one team’s name written over the entire rain-affected contest. That was Australia’s, without a doubt.
The Australians were dominant in their rain-curtailed run chase, with captain Warner giving the Australians a fine, blazing start. The Kiwis were unable to keep a tab on the scoring rate despite knowing that they were defending a paltry score. The openers- right on the money from the start go- went after Boult, Sodhi and Southee, the latter going for over 10 an over. Leading by example, it was Warner’s surgical bisecting of the Kiwi fielders toward his customary point and mid on positions that enabled Australia to make a quickstart- the captain contributing 25, including 2 boundaries- in a paltry run-chase of 121 (D/L method).
Although Warner was well supported by D’Arcy Short at the other end, it was the pocket-sized dynamo Short’s fierce hitting that led him blaze a quickfire half century, an impressive knock of 50 coming of just 30 balls, laced with 6 boundaries and 3 sixes that enabled Australia to win a game in a manner that could be likened to taking a breezy stroll in the park.
But the final of the tri-nation T20 series would be known for the heroics of Ashton Agar, who was well-supported by experienced old-guard of T20s, Kane Richardson, who scalped two wickets to provide the Aussies an early advantage in a series where bowlers have been handed the olive stick by the whirring blade of batsmen. Easily two of New Zealand’s most powerful strikers of the ball- Guptil and Munro- also aided by massive recent successes were outfoxed by the Aussies on a wicket where the ball wasn’t quite coming on to the bat.
But Australian captain Warner would do well to remember that had it not been for the brilliant breakthroughs provided by the 24-year-old Ashton Agar- who removed Kiwi captain Williamson, new talent Chapman and the ever resourceful all-rounder Grandhomme, renowned for punishing bowlers during death overs, Australia might not have been able to curtail New Zealand’s scoring rate that saw 59 of the 150 coming thanks to a late surge by the lower order. But once the top three- danger-man Guptil, big-hitter Munro and, ever pleasing Williamson were removed having contributed only 21, 29 and 9 respectively, the Aussies started believing.
That said, Agar, who scuttled 3 wickets for just 27 from his quota of 4 overs, puts forth a critical concern for the Australian selectors. Famously notorious for a rigorous chop-and-change policy, perceptibly put in place to augment and hone newer talents, Cricket Australia will need serious reasoning to keep Agar at bay from participating in ODI and T20 contests.
And this isn’t a rudimentary standalone statement. Here’s proof of Agar’s recent form.
In the process of conceding under 7 runs an over- in all fairness, equivalent to being in the range of say a 5.5 in an ODI- a pretty decent showing considering much of the contemporary game is now becoming highly batsmen-skewed, Ashton Agar repaid the faith of his selectors and achieved some impressive milestones:
1. Some of Ashton Agar’s recent bowling spells have resulted in massive successes for Australia in T20s. His spells of 3/27 in the just-concluded finals are a follow up to impressive showings in the same tri- series where he bowled spells like 1/24 at Auckland (vs Kiwis).
2. He also produced a magical run-curtailed spell of 2/15 against England at Hobart which came just after his 1/22 against New Zealand at Sydney.
3. Although, from a career standpoint, Agar’s T20 strike rate stands in the excess of 7 an over, in the just concluded T20s, Agar brought it down to 5, a massive improvement considering it’s the slower bowlers who stand the risk of enduring big shots and even mistimed hits that given the rather minuscule size of the grounds often bear the brunt of crossing the boundary.
Traditionally, one of the more balanced sides in cricket’s briefest formats, Australia plunged to a memorable series victory, registering their 6th ever T20 victory against familiar Trans-Australian opponents; a side that hasn’t quite lacked the bite and punch to mow down Australia that contested sans ODI captain Steve Smith, leaving much of the task of scoring and wicket taking with experienced blokes like Warner, Maxwell and, Kane Richardson, respectively.
That being said, it’s important to look at how Australia have fared against New Zealand in all T20 contests thus far (barring ICC World T20)

Ground Year Winner Margin
Eden Park, New Zealand 2005 Australia 44 runs
WACA, Perth 2007 Australia 54 runs
SCG, Sydney 2009 Australia 1 run
WestPack, Wellington 2010 Australia 6 wickets
AMI stadium, Christchurch 2010 New Zealand Super Over result
SCG, Sydney 2018 Australia 7 wickets
Eden Park, Auckland 2018 Australia 5 wickets
Auckland 2018 Australia 13 runs (D/L method)
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