New Zealand got the better of Australia by 4 runs in the second T20I to take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series. Batting first, the Kiwis scored 219-7, thanks to Martin Guptill's 97 off 50 balls. Jimmy Neesham provided the flourish in the end with his knock of 45* off 16 balls.
Australia were down and out at one point, with the visitors reeling at 113-6 after 13 overs. However, a 92-run stand between Marcus Stoinis (78 off 37) and Daniel Sams (41 off 15) brought them close to an improbable win. But Jimmy Neesham defended 15 runs in his last over to help the Blackcaps win the thrilling T20I encounter.
Marcus Stoinis' 78 off 37 balls goes in vain
Chasing 220 for victory, Matthew Wade hit a few boundaries in the powerplay. However, he was undone by Tim Southee, with the southpaw getting caught at mid-off.
Coming in at No.3, Josh Philippe got into the act quickly, hitting two sixes in the fifth over. Australia kept themselves in the game, reaching 53-1 after six overs.
At the other end, Aaron Finch's woeful form continued as he perished for 12 off 14 deliveries. Glenn Maxwell was soon dismissed cheaply, with Ish Sodhi toaking a brilliant catch at short third man to get rid of the swashbuckling batsman.
New Zealand were firmly in the driver's seat when Mitchell Santner claimed three wickets in the 13th over. Josh Philippe holed out at deep point after looking to go over extra cover. Ashton Agar and Mitchell Marsh were dismissed for golden ducks later in the over.
However, Marcus Stoinis and Daniel Sams decided against giving up. The 15th and the 16th overs yielded 45 runs in total, bringing Australia back in the game.
The target was within reach now, with Australia needing 30 off the last two overs. However, Jimmy Neesham held his nerve in the final over to see New Zealand home by 4 runs.
Martin Guptill's 97 help New Zealand post 219-7
Winning the toss and bowling first, Australia made early inroads as Tim Seifert was dismissed cheaply for 3 in the fourth over. New Zealand were off to a tentative start, with the score reading 30-1 after five overs.
Martin Guptill soon got moving, with New Zealand scoring 29 runs in the next two overs. Guptill reached his 50 in 27 balls after smashing two massive sixes off Adam Zampa. After 10 overs, the Kiwis reached 85-1, with Kane Williamson playing the anchor role and Guptill looking to go bonkers.
The New Zealand opener then hit Marcus Stoinis for two consecutive sixes in the 11th over. With nine wickets in hand, the Kiwis collected 21 runs in the 12th over bowled by Kane Richardson. Kane Williamson also joined the act and feasted on the Australian bowlers.
Guptill was finally dismissed in the 15th over for 97, after getting holed out in the deep. However, the Aussies didn't get any respite as Jimmy Neesham launched two sixes off the first two balls he faced. Kane Williamson was soon castled by Adam Zampa for 53 .
Neesham added the finishing touches with his unbeaten 45 off 16 balls to get the Kiwis to a massive total of 219-7 in their 20 overs.