Andrew Tye rues a near miss against the Kiwi openers on Friday night.
Andrew Tye rues a near miss against the Kiwi openers on Friday night.

Tiny ground no barrier for buoyant Aussies

PACEMAN Kane Richardson says the pressure will be on the batsmen, not the bowlers, when Australia return to batting paradise Eden Park for the Twenty20 tri-series final.

David Warner's side continued their unbeaten run on Friday night with a spectacular five-wicket victory over New Zealand in Auckland.

Set a mammoth 244 to win, Australia pulled off the highest run chase in a T20 international as Warner (59 off 24 balls) and D'Arcy Short (76 off 44) demolished New Zealand's bowlers.

Australia will face the winner of Sunday's clash between New Zealand and England in the final on Wednesday night.

Richardson (2-40) was the best of Australia's quicks at Eden Park but still went at 10 an over as Martin Guptill (105) and Colin Munro (76) capitalised on the notoriously short boundaries.

But the 27-year-old said Australia's bowlers wouldn't be daunted by the task of returning to a ground where an astonishing 32 sixes were scored across 38.5 overs.

"I think, as a bowler, all the expectation's going to be on the batsmen to replicate that, and that's going to be quite hard," he said.

"Guptill and Munro played two unbelievable innings. They were 67 after the powerplay and we were 91, so we won that powerplay by 20-odd runs.

"Us bowlers were pretty chuffed with that - we got around each other and said 'well done'.

"The expectation will be that it will be the same (for the NZ batsmen) but hopefully the expectation will be too much."

The disciplined performance of Richardson, Andrew Tye and Billy Stanlake has been a major factor in Australia turning around their patchy T20 form this summer.

Stand-in captain Warner has made a point of keeping the quicks in set roles, and Richardson said it was unlikely they would mix things up even if they faced the Black Caps again.

He described Warner's positivity as a big factor in their improved performance in the final overs.

"He just looked around and said 'Boys, just keep a smile on your face because this is actually enjoyable. It's ridiculous to watch but try and enjoy this'," Richardson said.

"I guess as a bowler you just think 'Well, I've gone for 24 off an over or something like that, how am I enjoying it?' But I think he actually instilled that into (us).

"It's all about expectation. There was none on us whatsoever so it was just try some stuff, try some different fields and see what happens, and that was all from David."



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