The third and the fourth T20Is of the series between New Zealand and Australia will be played behind closed doors due to the change in New Zealand's alert levels with regards to Covid-19. Also, the matches have been shifted from Auckland to Wellington.
The first and second T20I between New Zealand Women (White Ferns) and England Women will also be played without crowds. New Zealand Cricket (NZC) confirmed the development on Saturday. In an official statement, NZC said:
"Double-headers (inc WHITE FERNS v ENG T20) to go ahead in Wellington on Wednesday, March 3, as planned -- but behind closed doors. Double-headers scheduled for Auckland on Friday, March 5, now to be played in Wellington, also without crowds.”
The decision with regards to the 5th T20I between New Zealand and Australia and the third T20I between White Ferns and England will be taken at a later stage. The NZC statement added:
"Double-headers scheduled for Tauranga on Sunday, March 7 to go ahead -- will wait for Government advice re crowds. All ticket holders to receive full refunds."
According to a report in stuff.co.nz, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, on Saturday, announced that Auckland would return to level 3 alert for seven days. The rules say that no sport can be held during a level 3 alert. The rest of New Zealand has been moved to level 2 with seven-day restrictions. Matches can be played behind closed doors in this level.
New Zealand 2-0 up in five-match T20I series against Australia
Hosts New Zealand have dominated the five-match T20I series so far. In the second T20I at Dunedin on Thursday, they defeated Australia by four runs.
Batting first in the match, they posted a mammoth 219 for 7. Opener Martin Guptill led the way with 97 from 50 balls. Kane Williamson made a fluent half-century while Jimmy Neesham slammed an unbeaten 45 from 16 balls, with six sixes.
The Aussies fell short despite Marcus Stoinis’ brilliant 78 from 37 balls and Daniel Sams’ 15-ball 41.
Earlier, in the first T20I at Christchurch, the Kiwis hammered the Aussies by 53 runs. Devon Conway starred with an unbeaten 99 from 59 balls as New Zealand posted 184 for 5, batting first.
Ish Sodhi’s 4 for 28 and two wickets each from Tim Southee and Trent Boult saw Australia being rolled over for 131.
Australian captain Aaron Finch’s poor form with the bat continued as he managed scores of just 1 and 12 in the two games.