Disbelief as 'unthinkable' Australia comeback falls short in T20

Chris Young
·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
A heroic batting performance from Marcus Stoinis wasn't enough to help Australia complete a wild comeback against New Zealand, with the home side taking a 2-0 series lead. Pictures: Getty Images
A heroic batting performance from Marcus Stoinis wasn't enough to help Australia complete a wild comeback against New Zealand, with the home side taking a 2-0 series lead. Pictures: Getty Images

A spirited comeback from Marcus Stoinis and Daniel Sams fell agonisingly short after the pair hauled Australia back from the brink of a humiliating defeat against New Zealand in Thursday's T20 showdown.

Chasing an impressive 220 to win after New Zealand batted first, Australia collapsed to 6/113 in the 12th over, with victory a long shot as Sams joined Stoinis at the crease.

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The pair mounted a sensational rear-guard action, combining for a partnership of 90 from just 34 deliveries before Sams was finally caught on the boundary line on the first ball of the final over.

Australia needed 15 from the final over, with Sams holing out and Stoinis belting one last six before he too was caught on the rope trying to go for broke.

There was no doubt Sams (41 from 15 balls) and Stoinis (78 from 37) put Australia in a winning position, with only Josh Phillipe (45 off 32) contributing at the top order, alongside 24 from Matthew Wade.

Sams and Stoinis pummelled the ground with sixes, with Sams nearly sending one into the Fox Sports cameraman at long off, who was mounted well above the ground on the scaffolding.

Australia lost three wickets alone in one Mitchell Santner over, which brought Sams to the crease.

New Zealand set up the win with an impressive batting performance of their own, paced by 97 from 50 balls from opener Martin Guptill.

Kane Williamson (53) and Jimmy Neesham (45 n/o) also added handy contributions for the Kiwis, with Australian fast bowler Kane Richardson snaring three wickets.

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Fans stunned by 'ridiculous' Jimmy Neesham moment

Jimmy Neesham up the cricket world with an extraordinary shot during the New Zealand innings.

Martin Guptill plundered a brilliant 97 off just 50 balls as the Kiwis made 7-219 at Dunedin's tiny University of Otago Oval.

However it was Neesham who stole the headlines with an insane 'reverse' six towards the end of New Zealand's innings.

Neesham made 45 not out from 16 balls, including one moment of magic against Daniel Sams when he ramped the Aussie bowler over the boundary.

Neesham squared up as Sams was delivering the ball, but instead of playing a traditional ramp he flicked it over his left shoulder for six.

While a traditional ramp would end up on the leg-side, Neesham's shot went over the slips on the off-side.

"What a shot from Neesham. That is ridiculous," Isa Guha said in commentary.

"That’s not fair. I can’t believe that shot."

Mark Waugh added: "That’s a reverse ramp. He went for the normal ramp and went, nup, not in my zone, so I’ll just change the angle of the bat."

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