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T20 World Cup: Conway, Neesham guide New Zealand to 200/3 against Australia

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Author : Indo Asian News Service

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Sydney, Oct 22 (IANS) James Neesham clouted Australian pace bowler Josh Hazlewood's last delivery of their innings for a massive six over long-on as New Zealand, riding on openers Devon Conway (92 not out) and Finn Allen's (42) superb start, gave the hosts a stiff 201-run target for victory in the opening Super-12 (Group 1) match of the ICC T20 World Cup at the packed Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday.

In what is being billed as a grudge match for the Black Caps, who lost the 2021 T20 World Cup final to the trans-Tasman rivals, the ever-reliable Conway remained unbeaten, missing his century by just eight runs as he put the Australian bowling attack to the sword, smashing seven boundaries and two sixes and guiding his side to 200/3.

But Conway's aggression was nothing compared to his opening partner Neesham's, who scored a 16-ball 42 at a mind-boggling strike rate touching 263 as he cracked five boundaries and three sixes before being bowled by Hazlewood in the fifth over with the Black Caps losing their first wicket on 56 runs.

Skipper Kane Williamson, who came in next, and Conway stitched together a fruitful partnership giving last edition's runners-up a huge fillip as they aimed for a big score. That New Zealand finally put exactly 200 on the board was thanks to Neesham's cameo (26 off 13 balls) as the Kiwis posted an imposing target for Aaron Finch's side to chase.

Brief scores: New Zealand 200/3 in 20 overs (Finn Allen 42, Devon Conway 92 not out, James Neesham 26 not out) vs Australia.

--IANSakm/

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