New Zealand vs Australia: Tim David leads Aussies to T20I victory in last-ball thriller

New Zealand vs Australia: Tim David leads Aussies to T20I victory in last-ball thriller

Australia's Tim David hit a four off the final ball to lead his side to a thrilling six-wicket victory over New Zealand in the opening game of their three-match T20I series in Wellington.

Australia required 32 from the last nine balls, chasing 216 to win, before David (31no) took command, hitting New Zealand's fast bowler Adam Milne (1-53) for a four and two sixes as he closed out the penultimate over.

Captain Mitchell Marsh piloted Australia's innings with an unbeaten 72 from 44 balls and was named player of the match for his role in Australia's third-highest successful run chase.

Marsh started the final over on strike with his side needing 16 runs from the last six balls, while veteran seamer Tim Southee (0-52), the highest wicket-taker in T201 cricket, was given the responsibility of bowling for New Zealand.

Southee began the over with a wide but then conceded only one run and two leg-byes which left Australia needing 12 from the last three balls.

David went a long way to settling the issue when he hit a remarkable six behind square, leaving the visitors requiring six from two balls.

Marsh and David ran two from the penultimate ball of the innings, leaving David on strike with four more to win.

Southee bowled full and David clubbed the ball through midwicket, just wide of Glenn Phillips' despairing dive, to the boundary to seal the victory as he finished on 31 not out from only 10 balls.

Earlier, Devon Conway (63) and Rachin Ravindra (68) put on 113 from 66 balls for the second wicket to help lift New Zealand to 215-3.

Conway broke a form slump as he reached his first half century in 23 innings across all formats.

Ravindra came into the New Zealand team as a placeholder for Kane Williamson who is absent awaiting the birth of his third child.

He staked a strong claim for a place in New Zealand's squad for the T20 World Cup later this year, though, hitting six sixes during his outing.

"It was a very good wicket and I felt we were just on the run-rate right through the innings," Marsh said.

"There was no doubt if we were going to chase down 216 we were going to need a bit of luck.

"That was just a great game of cricket to start the series. These two teams have played a lot of great games over time and it's really nice to be on the right end of it."

The sides play the second of the three T20Is in Auckland on Friday before starting a two-Test series later this month.

Defending champions England have Australia and Scotland in their group for the Men's T20 World Cup in the West Indies and the United States this summer.

Jos Buttler's side begin their title defence against Scotland in Barbados on June 4, before playing Australia at the same venue on June 8.

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