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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 September 2018

Sixes galore as Australia complete T20 world record chase to beat New Zealand 

A total of 32 maximums in Auckland as the Australians score 245-5 to better the home side's score of 243.

Australia's Alex Carey, right, and Aaron Finch celebrate their side's win over New Zealand. Michael Bradley / AFP Photo
Australia's Alex Carey, right, and Aaron Finch celebrate their side's win over New Zealand. Michael Bradley / AFP Photo

Australia completed a world-record Twenty20 chase as they hunted down a staggering target of 244 against New Zealand at Auckland.

The combination of Eden Park's short boundaries, a docile pitch and fearless hitting from both sides saw an incredible 32 sixes in the match with a combined 488 runs scored for the loss of 11 wickets.

New Zealand's 243 for six was the seventh highest international total of all time in the format, and 29 more than Australia had ever conceded, but the visitors somehow took the win with seven balls remaining.

The result denied New Zealand the chance to book their place against their rivals in the Triangular Series final, to be held at the same venue on February 21, and they now go head to head with England on Sunday.

The writing was on the wall for the bowlers from the off, Black Caps duo Martin Guptill and Colin Munro sharing an opening stand of 132 in 10.4 overs.

Guptill finished with 105 in just 54 deliveries, his second T20 ton including nine maximums, but Munro scored even quicker piling on 76 in in 33 balls.

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Andrew Tye claimed both men, but suffered more than most with 64 from his four-over stint.

Australia managed to get away with 48 for four from the last five overs, a relative improvement that would later prove crucial.

David Warner (59) and D'Arcy Short (76) flung the bat with abandon in the powerplay, improbably racing ahead of the rate at 91 without loss after six overs.

They eventually put on 121 before Warner was undone by Ish Sodhi's googly, but Australia's confidence never waned.

Ben Wheeler, a late call-up for the injured Mitchell Santner, was the ultimate fall guy as Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell and Aaron Finch all played entertaining cameos.

He was well on the way to the worst figures in the history of T20Is when successive no-ball beamers saw him taken out of the attack by the umpires having shipped 64 runs from 3.1 overs.

Finch blasted Colin de Grandhomme for the match-winning six - the only way a game like this should end - to ensure the final over was not even required.

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