Qantas Tour of NZ 2018

'One of the great games': Richardson

Record run-fest at birthplace of T20 cricket demonstrates how far format has come since its inception

Louis Cameron

16 February 2018, 11:12 PM

Australia break world record to run down NZ

On their return to the ground where international T20 cricket begun, Australia not only replicated their initial success but took part in a game that highlighted the different beast the format has become.

Playing their first 20-over game at Eden Park nearly 13 years to the date of the inaugural T20I between the trans-Tasman rivals, Australia chased down New Zealand's 6-243 in an epic encounter described by quick Kane Richardson as "one of the great games".

Watch all 32 sixes from epic clash at Eden Park

While no team, domestic or international, had ever reeled in a target as big as the one the Black Caps set Australia, thanks to Martin Guptill's brilliant 105, the visitors managed to do so with seven balls to spare.

In 2005, when Australia and New Zealand first met in T20Is, a game yielding almost 500 runs would have been considered standard fare for a 50-over match.

Now, when handed some juicy short boundaries and a good wicket, no target is out of reach.

"(In) one-day cricket, the occasional 350 vs 350 is tough work but that's something else," Richardson marvelled post-match.

"Twelve an over for the whole game, two a ball for the whole game.

"To do it with seven balls to spare, that's an amazing effort, it was one of the great games."

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Having watched Guptill destroy Australia's attack and send the Auckland crowd into a frenzy, Richardson said his side had not given up hope despite the mammoth task they were faced with.

But the South Australian did admit he originally thought his side needed one batter to match – or better – Guptill's efforts if they were to get over the line.

"At the halfway break, everyone thought we were a chance," Richardson said.

"You think 'yeah, if someone gets going, we are (a chance).'

"But to do that over 20 overs - and you saw how Guptill played – to stay in that for 20 overs is so hard."

Stanlake crashes helmet of Kiwi Champan for wicket

But there are different ways to skin a cat and Australia, having cracked an astonishing 91 off the first six Power Play overs, found a steady stream of different contributors.

Fourth-game opener D'Arcy Short led the charge with a 44-ball 76 but of all the batters to pass 30 in this game, his strike-rate of 172.73 was comfortably the lowest.

His guiding hand allowed the likes of stand-in skipper David Warner (59 off 24 balls, including five sixes) and Glenn Maxwell (31 off 14) push the tempo a notch higher than surely anybody thought was possible, before Aaron Finch (36 off 14) struck his third six to seal the game in the penultimate over.

"We always believed that we could do it," said Short.

"But when we walked in at half-time and knew we were chasing 240, we knew that we had to go from the start. We had enough firepower to do it if we came off.

"I think there's always doubt but we have enough firepower to keep going and we knew if we came off, we'd be all right."

On a night where he became the all-time leading run-scorer in T20Is, Guptill was put in the rare position of lamenting a loss after posting a century and had forced Australia to concede their highest-ever score in the format.

"It's a funny old feeling isn’t it?" said Guptill, who passed his former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum as T20I’s most prolific batsman. "To put 240 on the board and lose the game, it's a little bit disheartening.

"It's a tough one to put your finger on really.

"They chance their arm in the first six and it paid off. Any time you score 90 in the front six, it's going to put pressure on any score you put on the board.

"They hit the ball extremely well and got the benefits for it, so hats off for them."

Trans-Tasman T20 Tri-Series

First T20I Australia beat New Zealand by seven wickets. Scorecard

Second T20I Australia beat England by five wickets. Scorecard

Third T20I Australia beat England by seven wickets. Scorecard

Fourth T20I New Zealand beat England by 12 runs. Scorecard

Fifth T20I Australia beat New Zealand by five wickets. Scorecard

Sixth T20I NZ v England, Seddon Park, February 18. Scorecard

Final Australia v TBC, Eden Park, February 21. Scorecard

Australia squad: David Warner (c), Aaron Finch (vc), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Ben Dwarshuis, Travis Head, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, D'Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa.

England squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, James Vince, David Willey, Mark Wood.

New Zealand squad: Kane Williamson (c), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Tom Bruce, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Anaru Kitchen, Colin Munro, Seth Rance, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Ben Wheeler.