Australia are humiliated on home turf as the reigning world champions fall to an embarrassing 89-run defeat in DREADFUL start to their World Cup campaign after Devon Conway’s superb 92 run knock at the SCG
Australia have been plunged into the scenario of six must-win games to defend their Twenty20 World Cup crown after New Zealand smashed them by 89 runs in their tournament opener.
Attempting to become the first team to win on home soil, Australia’s campaign got off to a horror start on Saturday night as the Black Caps plundered 3-200 batting first.
Australia could only muster 111 in reply, spun out by Mitchell Santner (3-31) and comprehensively beaten by Tim Southee (3-6) as they were all out in just 17.1 overs.
New Zealand have humiliated Australia to send a strong message at the Twenty20 World Cup
Devon Conway hit 92 not out to help set Australia a target of 201 runs at the SCG
Only Glenn Maxwell passed 20 runs in Australia’s top and middle-order with 28, but even his glimmer of a return to form came as the hosts lost wickets at a rapid rate.
The defeat means Australia will likely need to win their last four group games to have any chance of advancing to the semi-finals.
That run will include a tough clash against the No.1-ranked England on Friday night in Melbourne, as well as Sri Lanka on Tuesday in Perth plus Ireland and Afghanistan in the next fortnight.
Even victories in all those matches may not be enough for Aaron Finch’s men if results go against them, after their net run-rate copped a hammering in the heavy defeat.
In reality, Australia were always behind the eight-ball from when Mitchell Starc’s opening over went for 14 after Finch won the toss and bowled first.
Black Caps opener Devon Conway smashed 92no from 58 balls, as no Australian bowler was spared in the assault.
Josh Hazlewood was the hosts’ best with 2-41 but still went at 10 an over, while Mitchell Starc (0-36), Pat Cummins (0-46) and Adam Zampa (1-39) were all expensive.
In a dominant knock, Conway hit Zampa for two sixes and drove both Cummins and Hazlewood with relative ease as he helped the Kiwis to their highest World Cup total.
Fellow opener Finn Allen also justified his selection ahead of Martin Guptill, with a 16-ball blitzkreig at the top that helped him to 42.
In contrast, Australia’s innings never showed any signs of getting going in what finished as their biggest T20 World Cup loss.
Their night was summed up when David Warner was bowled by a Southee ball that bounced off his bat twice and thigh-pad once before hitting the stumps.
Glenn Phillips took an absolutely incredible catch to dismiss Marcus Stoinis in Sydney
The batsman holds his arms out in elation after delivering an amazing catch on Saturday
Finch threatened when he dispatched Trent Boult deep into the Bill O’Reilly stand off the first ball he faced from the left-armer.
But he fell in the next over for 13, hitting Santner straight to cover.
Mitch Marsh, Tim David and Marcus Stoinis all then were caught in the deep, with the latter removed by a superb catch when Glenn Phillips dived full-length near the boundary.
Boult also bagged 2-24 in the rout, with Australia now facing the reality that their hopes of winning a home tournament could be over within days after years of build up.
Re-live Daily Mail Australia’s live coverage of New Zealand’s 89-run shellacking of Australia, brought to you by OLLIE LEWIS.