Australia take positives from T20 win

Australia's 64-run defeat of New Zealand keeps their five-game series alive heading into Friday night's clash in Wellington.

AARON FINCH
AARON FINCH Picture: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

Australia's 64-run win over New Zealand brought Aaron Finch's side relief in more ways than one, drawing a line under a tough tour to date.

After quarantine, criticism and a COVID outbreak which rejigged the series, Australia are now on the board and are eyeing a comeback series win.

Wednesday night's hitout could scarcely have gone any better.

There was a return to runs from skipper Finch, who struggled through the Big Bash League and sorely needed his 69.

Glenn Maxwell also made his first score of the tour, reaching 70 after a stunning run of 65 off 20 balls.

Ashton Agar was wicketless in two losses but finished the night in the record books, becoming the first Australian and just the fourth man ever to take six wickets in a T20 international.

And Riley Meredith looked at home with 2-24 in his first international outing.

"I was really nervous before hand. I was playing it out in my mind, I thought about that first ball a thousand times," Meredith said.

The 24-year-old Tasmanian unleashed at over 150kmph and by the end of his second over in international cricket had trapped the game's No.1-ranked Test batsman Kane Williamson plumb in front.

"That was the cherry on top," he said.

The first-gamer's joy was a delight to see, but seeing Finch return to runs after a series of outs brought a deeper satisfaction.

It might have been different for the Australian captain: he was caught in front by Tim Southee in his first delivery but was given not out with his review upheld, though the ball was hitting the stumps.

Finch was refreshingly honest about his fate, saying he was lucky to survive "a 50-50 call" which would have brought fresh scrutiny.

"I got away with it today," he confessed.

"Sometimes your heart just drops when you're about to take that first risk ... and you know it's going to go one way or the other.

"After that ... I used my feet the next ball and then I also hit a drive down the ground which is a good sign I'm seeing the ball early."

Agar said he dug deep to move past his wicketless contributions in Christchurch and Dunedin last week.

"In the past it would have got to me", he said.

"Now, I've played enough to take it as a new game and a new chance to do something good.

"When I started to have the courage to toss it up a little bit I got something out of it. A good lesson out of today."