2022 T20 World Cup: On first night, New Zealand defeats defending champion Australia

India was the tournament favorite the previous year. This time, the hosts of the T20 World Cup, Australia, were the ones to suffer a humiliating loss in the tournament’s first game, exposing the unpredictable nature of the format. New Zealand, the perennial underdogs, humiliated the holders on Saturday by winning by 89 runs at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Australia’s net run rate has suffered with this heinous loss, and they may need to win every game from this point on to go to the semifinals.

New Zealand lost the toss, but the World Cup Super 12s got off to a fast start thanks to teenager Finn Allen’s 16-ball 42. It shouldn’t have surprised anybody, but it’s reasonable that a 23-year-old New Zealander’s accomplishments would have slipped people’s notice. Allen’s offensive tendencies may have taken the home team off guard in the opening minutes even though he arrived with the reputation and statistics of having the greatest strike rate in the industry in a brief career.

There was some humility in New Zealand’s innings after Allen’s abrasiveness, which saw him dominate a 56-run opening partnership in 4.1 overs. Allen was dismissed in the fifth over, and Kane Williamson’s restrained run-a-ball 23 that followed failed to maintain the pace. Devon Conway, a left-handed batsman, persevered despite everything and finished with an unbeaten 92 (58 balls, 7×4,2×6), hitting Josh Hazelwood past the long-on ropes with the penultimate ball to help the Kiwis reach 200.

All of the Australian bowlers ended up allowing more than nine runs per over thanks almost completely to Conway’s calculated strokeplay after the Allen blitz, which never missed an opportunity to capitalize on the loose ball. This is despite Adam Zampa’s abilities and switching to mix-ups. James Neesham’s useful 13-ball 26* helped increase the death overs scoring rate.

In response, New Zealand spent the opening two overs looking for Aaron Finch’s pads while also capturing David Warner. To enter the match, Finch set himself free and hit Trent Boult in the third over many rows of spectators over the mid-wicket boundary. The Australian captain was eventually defeated by left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner as a consequence of Williamson’s scheme to limit Mitch Marsh with early spin.

After taking three wickets in the powerplay, Australia decided to sit Steve Smith for the game. To save the innings, the power hitters had to demonstrate their value and, if possible, bat at a lower pitching speed. Santner and Ish Sodhi of New Zealand’s spin-twins effectively stopped them, though, when Tim David and Marcus Stoinis both fell while attempting to test the boundary ropes. Due to Lockie Ferguson’s quickness, Matthew Wade was quickly dispatched, and Glenn Maxwell (28 – 20b) was only able to inflict so much damage with his switch-hits.