New Zealand wasted no time debating bowling woes after a record Twenty20 loss to Australia as it regrouped on Saturday ahead of its tri-series showdown against England.
Martin Guptill described Friday night’s loss to Australia as “disheartening” but quickly added: “We haven’t really got a lot of time to dwell on it.”
When Guptill was flailing away at the top of the New Zealand innings in Auckland, victory seemed certain, which would have made Sunday’s clash with England in Hamilton a mere training exercise before Wednesdays final for which Australia had already qualified.
But after the big-hitting opener smacked 105 off 54 balls as New Zealand posted a seemingly daunting 243, Australia caned the New Zealand bowling to produce the highest run chase in Twenty20 history to win by five wickets.
Ben Wheeler was severely put away and had gone for 64 from 3.1 overs when he was forced out of the attack for bowling two waist-high no balls.
Senior bowlers Tim Southee and Trent Boult both went for more than 40 but Guptill refused to blame the attack for the dramatic defeat.
“I dont think you can really say that. Australia came out and played extremely well and struck it well pretty much from ball one. To put 240 on the board and to lose the game, its a little bit disheartening, but we haven’t really got a lot of time to dwell on it, because weve got another game in two days time, so its a quick turnaround, and get out there on Sunday night.”
New Zealand beat England by 12 runs when it met earlier in the week setting up an all-or-nothing showdown on Sunday.
Should England win the return match, then the side with the superior overall run rate will progress to the final against Australia.