Kane Williamson (L) and David Warner © Getty Images
Kane Williamson (L) and David Warner © Getty Images

Who would want to be a bowler in the current era? 488 runs were scored in 38.5 overs during the fifth T20I of the Trans-Tasman tri-series clash between Australia and New Zealand. In a must-win encounter for Kiwis, they had everything to cheer for when Martin Guptill helped himself to his second ton and became the leading run scorer in the history of T20 Internationals. New Zealand put up 243, but a spirited batting effort from Australia enabled to pull off the highest T20I chase ever and remain unbeaten in the series. Stand-in skipper David Warner praised his side and stated that in such chases, one has to forget about the scoreboard and back oneself completely.

“What a fantastic effort by the boys.When you’ve got a total like that and an outstanding innings from Guppy [Martin Guptill, who hit 105 off 54 balls], you’ve just got to take the scoreboard out of it and back yourself and start well – and we did. When we look back at the first innings, they were 67 for 0 off the Powerplay and it was good to bring it back slightly… we knew we couldn’t err on the wrong side on a ground like this. Still it was a fantastic knock by New Zealand but as I said you’ve just got to keep playing with freedom, keep backing yourself and don’t get caught up in the small boundaries, just keep playing natural strokes,” opined Warner.

Ever since Warner took over the reins from Smith — rested following a busy summer — Australia have responded beautifully in a format wherein they do not possess a daunting record. How did he turns things around? ”What I said from day one when we started this, was to have a lot of energy, have fun and keep the smile on our face – we’re doing what we’re love, we’re living the dream, playing cricket for our country and when you get a fantastic crowd like this it’s absolutely sensational.”

His counterpart Kane Williamson mentioned that the run-fest was always on the cards on a small ground like Eden Park. However, he lauded batsmen from both dugouts for such a high-scoring encounter: ”It was a very good surface, small ground and a game like that was bound to happen here at some point. We’ve seen scores on the lower side but today both teams batted outstandingly well, put both bowling attacks under a lot of pressure, and came up with what we had today.

“I suppose at the halfway point you feel like you’ve got a fairly good score on the board but at the same time you still know that any opposition here won’t die wondering and if they come off they’ll get close – and they got more than close today.”

The next tie, a virtual shootout between New Zealand and England for the final spot, will be played on February 18.