The second T20I between New Zealand and Australia turned out to be a high-scoring affair with the hosts edging past by four runs and take 2-0 lead in the five-match series in Dunedin on Thursday. Marcus Stoinis hit a maiden T20 fifty and his excellent partnership with fellow allrounder Daniel Sams for the seventh wicket almost gave New Zealand a mighty scare as they threatened to chase down a mammoth target of 220.

The tourists needed 15 runs to win in the final over with Stoinis and Sams both unbeaten and belting boundaries for fun. However, James Neesham, who had earlier starred with the bat, produced an impressive final over in which he got rid of both the dangerman while allowing 10 runs and keeping Australia to 215/8.

Australia had opted to bat first and put New Zealand in to bat first trailing 0-1 in the series. Kane Richardson (3/43) provided his team with an early success when he had opener Tim Seifert out for 3 in the fourth over but after that, Martin Guptill took over as it started raining fours and sixes at the stadium.

Guptill left behind a dry spell of 12 innings without crossing 50 as he belted six fours and eight sixes in his 50-ball 97. Together with captain Kane Williamson (53), he added 131 for the second wicket.

Later, Neesham led the final flourish blasting an unbeaten 16-ball 45 to push the final tally to 219/7 in 20 overs. In reply, Australia started on a blazing note with opener Matthew Wade providing the early push, hitting 24 off 15.

Josh Phillipe, who came in to bat at No. 3, made 45 off 32 but then Mitchel Santner applied the brakes with 4/31 as Australia were reduced to 113/6 when allrounder Mitchel Marsh departed in the 13th over.

And then Stoinis joined forces with Sams to resurrect the chase and bring his team back in the hunt. He raced to 78 off 37 with seven fours and five sixes while Sams hit 41 off 15 with two fours and four sixes leaving New Zealand worried.

However, by the end, Neesham took it upon himself to put the game to bed.

Brief Scores: New Zealand 219/7 (Martin Guptill 97, Kane Williamson 53; James Neesham 45*; Kane Richardson 3/43) beat Australia 215/8 (Marcus Stoinis 78, Josh Phillipe 45, Daniel Sams 41; Mitchell Santner 4/31) by four runs