Match Report:


Lesser lights deliver Aussies T20I series clean sweep

Spencer Johnson, Nathan Ellis and Matthew Short star in rain-shortened final T20I in Auckland

Aussies register clean sweep in final T20 World Cup tune-up

Australia's fringe short-form players pushed their T20 World Cup cases after delivering their side a 3-0 sweep of the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy series against New Zealand at Eden Park.

In a rain-shortened final T20I, Spencer Johnson (1-10) and Nathan Ellis (0-11) bowled tremendous two-over spells to see the Kiwis fall 27 runs short of their 126-run DLS method target they were given for their 10-over run chase.

That came after Matthew Short pummeled three sixes in his only innings of the tour, finishing with 27 off 11 balls to help Australia post 4-118 from 10.4 overs before their innings was cut short due to the inclement Auckland weather.

The Kiwis could have been chasing a more modest total had they not put down three catches inside the first 30 minutes of play, with Travis Head making them pay to top score with 33 from 30 balls.

Johnson, a late call-up for this series, bowled with fearsome speed in his first game of the tour as the Black Caps looked all at sea against the left-armer's steepling bounce.

Every ball of Spencer Johnson's electric third T20 spell

Ellis then showcased his supreme death-bowling skills to see Glenn Phillips' 40no from 24 balls go in vain, with Short's strong match continuing when he dismissed Will Young with his off-spin bowling the second over of the innings.

Johnson, Ellis and Short have all been leading KFC BBL performers in recent times but are yet to nail permanent positions in the T20I side, and are jostling for spots to go to the World Cup in the USA and Caribbean.

Both Ellis and Johnson will have further opportunities to impress during the upcoming Indian Premier League, with Australia having now played their final T20I before the ICC event in June.

Wary of the forecast, NZ captain Mitchell Santner inserted the Aussies whose trial of Steve Smith opening in the T20I side failed for the second time in the series as he fended an Adam Milne delivery behind on his third ball.

The Kiwis then gave his partner Head two reprieves, on 16 at point by Josh Clarkson, then again on 19 by Ish Sodhi at short fine-leg, both off luckless paceman Ben Sears.

Mark Chapman put down another at long off from Glenn Maxwell's first ball to continue a rotten series for NZ in the field.

Knowing their innings would likely be shortened, Australia's top order looked to clear the rope early in their innings with Maxwell, Short and Tim David all hitting the second deliveries they faced for six.

Head got off to a flying start but lost some of his steam in between rain delays as Santner's strategy of bowling wider to Australia's powerful batters proved shrewd when the left-hander offered a simple catch.

Australia XI: Travis Head, Steve Smith, Matthew Short, Glenn Maxwell, Josh Inglis, Tim David, Matthew Wade (c/wk), Mitchell Starc, Nathan Ellis, Adam Zampa, Spencer Johnson


New Zealand XI: Finn Allen, Will Young, Tim Seifert (wk), Glenn Phillips, Mark Chapman, Josh Clarkson, Mitchell Santner (c), Adam Milne, Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult, Ben Sears

Qantas Tour of New Zealand

Watch all the action from the NZvAUS Tour live and exclusive on Foxtel and Kayo Sports. Click Here to subscribe

February 21: First T20: Australia win by six wickets with 0 balls to spare

February 23: Second T20: Australia won by 72 runs

February 25: Third T20: Australia win by 27 runs (DLS method)

Australia T20 squad: Mitchell Marsh (c), Pat Cummins, Tim David, Nathan Ellis, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Spencer Johnson, Glenn Maxwell, Matt Short, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa

New Zealand T20 squad: Finn Allen, Devon Conway, Tim Seifert, Rachin Ravindra, Glenn Phillips, Mark Chapman, Josh Clarkson, Mitchell Santner (c), Matt Henry, Ish Sodhi, Lockie Ferguson, Tim Southee, Adam Milne, Trent Boult

February 29 – March 4: First Test, Wellington, 9am AEDT

March 8-12: Second Test, Christchurch, 9am AEDT

Australia Test squad: Pat Cummins (c), Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Michael Neser, Matthew Renshaw, Steve Smith (vc), Mitchell Starc

New Zealand Test squad: Tim Southee (c), Tom Blundell (wk), Devon Conway, Matt Henry, Scott Kuggeleijn, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Will O'Rourke, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitchell Santner, Neil Wagner, Kane Williamson, Will Young.