Christchurch [New Zealand], February 22 (ANI): Devon Conway on Monday became the first New Zealand cricketer to smash five consecutive fifties in the T20s when he scored a breathtaking unbeaten 99 in the opening game against Australia.
Conway's whirlwind 99 runs off 59 balls was just a continuation of his stunning summer performance. The left-handed batsman's previous four T20 scores were - 93*, 91*, 69, 50 in the Super Smash.
Conway has now joined former Indian batsman Virender Sehwag, wicket-keeper batsman Kamran Akmal, Zimbabwe's Hamilton Masakadza, England swashbuckling cricketer Jos Buttler and Australia's David Warner as the only men to score five straight half centuries in T20 matches.
In the match, Australia had reduced New Zealand to 19/3 before Conway unleashed the beast within himself to hammer an unbeaten 99 off 59 balls and guided the hosts to 184/5.
New Zealand thrashed Australia by 53 runs in the first T20I to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match T20I series. If Conway starred with the bat for New Zealand, it was an all-round bowling performance lead by Ish Sodhi that saw the Kiwis clinch the game.
The visitors never looked comfortable in the chase and kept losing wickets at regular intervals only to get dismissed for 131 runs. For New Zealand, Sodhi picked four while Trent Boult and Tim Southee scalped two wickets each.
Chasing 185 runs, Australia got off to the worst possible start as Tim Southee and Trent Boult both struck in their first overs. Southee ensured Finch's lean patch continued while Boult dismissed Josh Philippe in the second over.
Matthew Wade and Glenn Maxwell too didn't bother the scorers much and were soon in the dugout after Boult and Southee again wreaked havoc to reduce Australia to 19/4.
Mitchell Marsh and Marcus Stoinis tried rescuing Australia from the precarious position but spinner Ish Sodhi joined the party.
Sodhi came out firing on all cylinders and first broke the partnership of 37 runs between Marsh and Stonis and then dismissed Ashton Agar and Daniel Sams in the same over.
Marsh was the only batsman who got going for Australia but he too failed to convert a good start into a match-winning knock and was dismissed for 45. (ANI)