Cricket Betting: New Zealand v Australia – Fifth T20

New Zealand v Australia Fifth T20

Friday February 16 – 5:00pm AEDT

After securing their first win of the competition on Wednesday against England, New Zealand will be looking to maintain that momentum by wrapping up a finals spot with a win against Australia at Eden Park on Friday.


New Zealand

The Kiwis opened their account with a strong 12-run win over the Three Lions in Wellington. After losing the toss and being sent into bat New Zealand made an explosive start with a thunderous 65 off 40 balls from opener Martin Guptill elevating them to 1/99 off 11 overs. Following a series of sluggish knocks, captain Kane Williamson also found his range with a magnificent 72 off 46 balls, before a couple of late cameos from debutants Mark Chapman (20 off 13 balls) and Tom Seifert (14 not out off six balls) ensured the Black Caps finished on a monstrous 5/196.

When England raced to 1/71 off seven overs in reply, it looked like the hosts may not have had enough, however left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner (2/29 off four overs) tightened things through the middle, before Trent Boult (2/46 off four overs) finished expertly at the death to restrict England to 9/184. Another key element to the Black Caps’ effort in the field was that fifth-bowling options Colin Munro and Colin de Grandhomme only went for a combined 26 off four overs and as such I don’t expect any changes to the home side’s starting XI.


Australia

Meanwhile Australia made it three wins on the trot in this tournament when they overwhelmed England at the MCG last Saturday. Captain David Warner’s luck at the coin toss continued as he yet again called correctly and invited the visitors to bat. The new ball pair of Kane Richardson (3/33 off four overs) and Billy Stanlake (2/28 off four overs) soon had the English reeling at 3/34 after four overs and while they mounted a fightback of sorts the Aussies still heavily restricted their scoring, only enabling them to scrape to 7/137 from their 20 overs.

Warner may be experiencing great fortune as a leader but he’s getting little with the bat as he was again dismissed cheaply for just two off four balls, although that only served to bring in Chris Lynn who quickly got the chase moving with a typically violent 31 off 19 balls. Lynn’s departure then ushered in the in-form Glenn Maxwell who hit the ball to all parts of the ground in his innings of 39 off 26 balls, while the whole time opener Darcy Short played the steady hand required, remaining unbeaten on 36 off 33 balls as the Aussies stormed home by seven wickets with 33 balls remaining.


Eden Park

Eden Park has not been a happy hunting ground for the hosts, with the Black Caps losing five of their past seven T20Is there, including their last three straight. The ground is typically high-scoring with four of the past six first innings scores exceeding 185, while the side batting first has won seven of the past eight matches here.


Key Stats

  • New Zealand have won five of their past seven T20I series’ at home.
  • However New Zealand have lost their last three T20Is at Eden Park.
  • Australia have now won five of their past six T20Is.
  • However Australia haven’t won five consecutive T20Is since March 2014.
  • Colin Munro has top-scored in four of his last nine T20Is.

The Verdict

Back at home and with a reinvigorated squad, the Kiwis showed what they were capable of in Wellington with a hefty total compiled despite minimal contributions from some of their more damaging strikers. Their effort in the field was less convincing, however there’s no doubt they are tough to beat on home soil and look a decent price here despite an ordinary recent record at the ground.

However backing New Zealand would entail taking on Australia who are in rare form at the moment. They seem to have struck the right balance with both bat and ball, and while they face the challenge of playing away from home they have a settled squad with several players in ominous touch so I don’t wish to oppose them at this stage.

So with no action to be had on the match odds we will instead investigate the deeds of Black Caps opener Colin Munro. The powerful left-hander encapsulates New Zealand’s approach at the top although it can often be feast or famine with Munro dismissed in single figures in seven of his past 14 innings. However when it does go right Munro is near unstoppable, with three centuries, two fifties and a 49 not out amongst the remainder of his knocks in that sample. Since the start of 2016 he has averaged 38.75 at the phenomenal strike-rate of 161.80 and having top-scored in four of his last nine T20Is we think he represents good value to do so again here.


Betting Strategy

BACK – Colin Munro Top New Zealand Batsman at 4.25 or bigger for 1 unit.


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