Chris Gayle and Fidel Edwards have been recalled to the West Indies squad for next month’s T20 Internationals against Sri Lanka.

  Experienced fast bowler Fidel Edwards has been tipped to make a return to the West Indies squad, ahead of the Sri Lanka T20 series, which could mark his first appearance for the team in over eight years.

The 39-year-old pace bowler last suited up for the regional team against Sri Lanka, at Pallekele, in 2012.  Edwards has been unavailable for selection after signing a Kolpak deal in 2015.  However, the player became available again with the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union and the termination of such contracts.

Earlier this year, the player announced his availability for the West Indies and also took part in the IPL and Abu Dhabi T10 League.  Despite being one of the oldest active players, in the sport, Edwards has lost none of the pace he has always been noted for and is cable of exceeding 90mph deliveries.  His pace and guile were very much on display in a fiery over against in-form young compatriot Nicholas Pooran during the T10 league.

The Barbadian-born right-arm pacer has played 20 T20 internationals for the West Indies and claimed 16 wickets.  He has also taken part in 55 Tests and 50 One-day Internationals.  Edwards hopes to be part of the T20 World Cup squad, which will attempt to defend its title in October.

The Guyana Cricket Board elections scheduled for today have been postponed keeping the hopes of Guyana Cricket Board Secretary Anand Sanasie's hopes alive of challenging incumbent Ricky Skerritt for the presidency of Cricket West Indies. 

Should the current board be swept from power, it would delegitimize Sanasie's run for the presidency.

According to reports emerging from Guyana, the elections, the first in more than a decade, was put off after reported mounting pressure to have it delayed, according to cricket commentator and talk show host Andrew Mason, who reported early this morning that there was an attempt at the highest level to stop the elections.

He reported that a lot of pressure was being put on the counties that would have been voting and that the Minister of Sport in Guyana Charles Ramson Jr was to meet with the president of Guyana on the matter.

A later report just after midday Jamaica time, said that the elections would not be held.

“The Ombudsman turned up just before 1 ‘0’ clock and said as the result of an email he received last night (Thursday) the elections could not be held today."

This was due mainly to the no show of the Essequibo Cricket Board, one of three counties that would have been voting in the elections.

“The Essequibo board said it was simply not ready,” according to Mason, who added that the boards of Berbice and Demerara are upset about the development.

Earlier this week, lawyers for Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) Secretary Anand Sanasie wrote to Guyana’s Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Charles Ramson Jr and Attorney Kamal Ramkarran, objecting to the appointment of both a cricket Ombudsman as well as the seven-day time period given for the staging of elections, claiming they were illegal under the Guyana Cricket Administration Act.

In response, Ramson Jr said he was on firm legal ground and well within the powers of the Guyana Cricket Administration Act.

 

 

It will be a battle of the Southern Caribbean for the Sir Clive Lloyd trophy, when Guyana Jaguars face-off with the unbeaten Trinidad & Tobago Red Force in the CG Insurance Super50 Final on Saturday, after the Guyanese comfortably defeated the Windward Islands Volcanoes in the second semi-final.

Playing on Thursday at the Coolidge Cricket Ground, Guyana’s victory was first set up by a magnificent century from Shimron Hetmyer, who was deservedly named the CG Insurance Man-of-the-Match.  He scored his seventh List A century of 112 and it came off 80 balls with 11 fours and five sixes. He was well supported by Raymon Reifer who made a career-best 90 off 104 balls with eight fours and three sixes.

The left-handed pair boosted the Jaguars to 305 for 7 – the third 300-plus total in the tournament. Then, under the floodlights, leading wicket-taker Gudakesh Motie (53 for 4) led the charge with the ball as the Windwards were routed for 210 all out in 46.4 overs.

The Jaguars started poorly with the bat and were forced into errors courtesy of some outstanding bowling by the Volcanoes. They initially slumped to 63 for 4 in the 12th over as skipper Leon Johnson was out first ball after he top-edged an attempted hook off pacer Ray Jordan – who had an inspired first spell of 12 for 3. It was Kevin Stoute who took a stupendous catch. to dismiss Johnson, as he ran in from the fence at long-leg and dived full stretch.

One run later, Hetmyer (12) was dropped by wicket-keeper Emmanuel Stewart. This proved to be the game-changing moment as in partnership with Reifer, who was playing his first game of competition, Hetmyer procured a regional List A record fifth-wicket partnership of 194. The total eclipsed the previous mark of 159 unbroken between Devon Thomas and Jahmar Hamilton for the Leeward Islands against Combined Campuses & Colleges at Conaree, St Kitts in Super50 2019.

Although the Windwards kept the Jaguars from scoring an even bigger score by conceding only 49 scored in the final 10 overs, they never looked capable of chasing the target. No one supported top-scoring opener Alick Athanaze, who made a patient 58.

 

 

Former Cricket West Indies (CWI) president, Dave Cameron, insists the controversial eligibility rules put in place during his tenure were never meant to disenfranchise players.

The legislation, which was implemented as the region jostled with the cash-rich T20 leagues for the commitment of its top players, stated that players who did make themselves available for domestic competitions would be ineligible for international selection.

As a result, many of the region’s top players were often left out of the line-up, which left the Windies' Test and ODI sides shorn of some of their best talents.  Cameron insists that the hope at the time was to encourage more balance between the West Indians taking part in cash-rich T20 leagues and representing the regional team.

“It was never about not wanting players to play around the world.  We respected that, we accepted that, but, West Indies cricket doesn’t have a product if we don’t have our best players playing.  So we needed to find a way to get our players to have the understanding that you can’t play everything,” Cameron told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“In the early days, I had a conversation with the players about telling us what they were going to play and when they would be available.  So the selectors could understand where they want to go.  After the strike occurred in India players decided that they weren’t going to play, and for the reduced salaries, so the West Indies first policy never actually got a chance,” he added.

“It was never intended to disenfranchise anybody, but look at what is happening in New Zealand, they still play in the leagues but they give their all to New Zealand when New Zealand is on the stage.  That’s all we were saying, as our senior players, you can’t play everything.”

 

 

 

 

 Cricket West Indies (CWI) today confirmed its third new multi-year broadcast rights agreement with SuperSport securing the rights to West Indies cricket until the end of 2024 in sub-Saharan Africa.

The four-year agreement will see SuperSport feature exclusive live coverage of all West Indies international home matches and regional tournaments played in the Caribbean on its television and digital platforms.

As part of the agreement, West Indies cricket will now be seen in over 54 African countries and islands, including South Africa, Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Kenya. SuperSport’s coverage starts with the recently confirmed West Indies versus Sri Lanka series which commences on Wednesday, March 3 with three CG Insurance T20 International matches.

The agreement also includes the rescheduled visit by South Africa to the Caribbean in June 2021, a tour that had to be rescheduled from July 2020 due to COVID-19.

“This new long-term SuperSport agreement ensures that the much-loved West Indies teams will be accessible to an expanded number of African consumer markets with sub-Saharan Africa’s premier broadcaster,” said CWI President Ricky Skerritt.

“As CWI’s third major media rights agreement finalized in the past few weeks, we are excited that SuperSport will be featuring every international series and regional tournament from the Caribbean, including the upcoming Sri Lanka Series and the rescheduled tour of the West Indies by South Africa in June.”

 Johnny Grave, CWI CEO said the agreement is another step of taking West Indies crickets into new markets.

 “We are absolutely delighted to confirm this significant four-year agreement with SuperSport to ensure that millions of cricket fans in Sub-Saharan Africa can follow West Indies Cricket in the Caribbean,” Grave said.

“By partnering with Africa’s leading sports broadcaster, CWI continues to deliver against our strategic objective of increasing the worldwide audience for and access to one of the world’s most loved cricket teams and regions.”

 This is the third major broadcast agreement announced by CWI following the recent ground-breaking agreements with ESPN+ for the United States market and with BT Sport for the United Kingdom and Ireland markets.​

Of all the important partnerships that Joshua Da Silva featured in during the West Indies successful Test series against Bangladesh, there was one that the Trinidadian wicketkeeper-batsman said he enjoyed the most.

It was another special day for Ravichandran Ashwin as the India all-rounder claimed his 400th Test wicket at the stunning Narendra Modi Stadium. 

Ashwin dismissed Jofra Archer during a short-lived day-night match against England in Ahmedabad, in the process becoming only the fourth India bowler to reach the landmark. 

The spinner joins compatriots Anil Kumble, Kapil Dev and Harbhajan Singh in the 400 club, while he is the 16th player to achieve the feat in the longest format. 

Ashwin brought up the milestone in only his 77th match; there will surely be plenty more to come for the 34-year-old, too. 

His standout numbers with the ball in the Test arena since making his debut versus West Indies in November 2011 make for impressive reading.


A five-star performer

Ashwin has taken 29 five-wicket Test hauls, a tally only six players have bettered: Muttiah Muralitharan, Shane Warne, Richard Hadlee, Kumble, Rangana Herath and James Anderson. 

The in-form Ashwin is just one shy of England seamer Anderson's total of 30, having taken 6-61 in the second innings of the first Test and 5-43 in the first innings of a second match India won emphatically to level the series. 

While not quite able to add to the collection in Ahmedabad, he still finished the game with impressive match figures of 7-74. 

Ashwin has taken six five-wicket hauls in as many Tests against New Zealand - more than any other side.  He has claimed 10 scalps in a Test on seven occasions and seven in an innings five times.


A thorn in Australia's side

Ashwin has racked up 89 of his wickets against Australia, more than any other side.

They were taken in 18 matches at an average of 31.5, while he has also thrived against England over the years - taking 73 wickets at 32.2 apiece.

Ashwin has 39 Test wickets in Australia, more than any nation other than his homeland.

His best performance came in October 2016 against New Zealand in Indore, helping himself to match figures of 13-140 - including 7-59 in the second innings of a crushing 321-run win.


A liking for left-handers

Ashwin has had great success bowling at left-handers over the years. 

He has dismissed a left-hander on 205 occasions, with his average against them at 19.5 compared to 31.2 against right-handers before play began in the third Test.

Ben Stokes is among the batsmen who has suffered at the hands of Ashwin the most; he has dismissed the England all-rounder 11 times in total.

Only Muralitharan managed to make it to 400 in fewer Tests and while Kumble's final total of 619 may be an ambitious target, it seems certain that by the time Ashwin decides to retire, India's newest member of the prestigious club will occupy at least second place on their all-time list for wickets.

Virat Kohli saluted "modern-day legend" Ravichandran Ashwin for passing 400 career wickets in India's outlandish victory over England in the third Test.

India clinched a 10-wicket win on Thursday when they knocked off the required 49 runs with little trouble, having skittled England for the second time in the match.

The tourists made just 112 and 81 as they flopped in the pink-ball day-night match, and that meant India's own first-innings batting collapse did not prove costly.

Ashwin brought up his wickets landmark in just his 77th Test, the off-spinner finishing with match figures of 7-74, while left-armer Axar Patel took 11-70 in the rout to earn man-of-the-match honours.

"We all need to stand up and take notice of what Ashwin has contributed to Indian cricket. We should all be very proud of it," captain Kohli said.

"I told him: 'From now on, I'm going to call you Ledge.'

"Four hundred is an outstanding achievement and still so many games, so many years to go for India, and in Test match cricket he's surely a modern-day legend.

"We're lucky to have him in our team. As a captain I'm so pleased that he plays for us."

Kohli said Axar "bowled amazingly well" in what was just his second Test.

"It's impossible to sweep him and impossible to defend him all day, and if the wicket gives him anything he's just a very lethal bowler," Kohli said. "For Axar to come in and bowl like this is outstanding."

But Kohli had no such praise for India as a batting side, or England for that matter.

"The result went our way, but I don't think the quality of batting was at all up to standard from both teams to be very honest," Kohli said. "I know they got bundled out early but even with our innings we were 100-3 hoping to make many more than we ended up with."

India slumped to 145 all out, yet England's second-innings effort meant the hosts were not punished.

Kohli spoke in the post-match presentation of a "lack of application on both sides" and said there was nothing amiss with the pitch early on.

"It was bizarre that out of the 30 wickets, 21 were from straight balls, and I feel that's just a lapse of concentration or indecision, or too many things going on in your head as a batter where you're playing for the turn but getting beaten on the inside," the India captain added.

"I honestly feel batsmen need to trust their defence more than they are presenting at the moment. Test cricket is all about that.

"You're not going to get a result in two days all the time, and this was a classic example of batsmen not applying themselves enough and that's why it was such a quick game.

"A lot of guys didn't get into the game and it's just a bizarre game.

"I don't think I've ever been part of such a Test match where things have happened so quickly. I've never experienced this."

Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel once again bamboozled England as India secured a 10-wicket victory in the third Test inside two days.

Thursday's action in the day-night contest was eventful to say the least, 17 wickets falling before Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill saw the hosts to their target of 49 runs in the final session under the floodlights. 

India had also started proceedings at the crease, losing their final seven wickets for 41 as they slipped from 99-3 to 145 all out, Joe Root's maiden five-wicket haul seemingly putting the game back in the balance. 

However, the metronomic Axar struck early and often as India seized control through their spinners. The left-armer dismissed both Zak Crawley and Johnny Bairstow for ducks in his first over of the innings as he picked up 5-32, giving him stunning match figures of 11-70.  

Not to be outdone, Ashwin worked his magic once more to end with 4-48. In the process he surpassed 400 Test wickets, a feat only achieved by three other bowlers for India. 

The efforts of the duo – fellow spinner Washington Sundar also claimed the final wicket of the innings – saw England skittled for 81 in 30.4 overs, their lowest total against India in the format. 

Root – who had done so much to give his team hope in the opening session with 5-8 – battled hard to make 19 and, briefly, his partnership with Ben Stokes (25) suggested India may have more work to do in the final innings on a difficult surface. 

Yet Ashwin crucially ended Stokes' counter-attacking knock and, having also bowled Ollie Pope (12), he reached his personal landmark when Jofra Archer was out lbw for a two-ball duck. In truth, England's tail had little hope of increasing their lead to give their own spinners any hope.

Rohit and Gill rushed the home team over the finishing line, the openers ending unbeaten on 25 and 15 respectively as India moved 2-1 ahead in the series with one Test to play.


Ashwin latest to join 400 club 

Ashwin is just the 16th bowler to claim 400 Test wickets, doing so in his 77th appearance. His compatriots Kapil Dev, Anil Kumble – who sits in top spot on India's all-time list on 619 – and Harbhajan Singh have previously made it to the milestone.

Only Sri Lankan Muttiah Muralitharan made to that number in fewer games than Ashwin, who now has 24 wickets in the series at an average of 15.70.

Tourists left in a spin

Thanks to a double century from skipper Root, England scored 578 in their first innings in the series. It was a mammoth total that set them up to secure an impressive victory in Chennai. 

Since then, though, the visitors have amassed 669 runs in five innings combined, their best score in that period being 164. Facing a trial by spin, they have been condemned to a pair of heavy defeats that ends their hope of competing in the World Test Championship final on home soil.

Ravichandran Ashwin became only the fourth India player to take 400 Test wickets, reaching the landmark on a dramatic second day of the third match in the series against England.

The all-rounder trapped Jofra Archer lbw in England's second innings as he achieved the career feat in a low-scoring day-night match at the spectacular Narendra Modi Stadium.

Ashwin joins Anil Kumble, Kapil Dev and Harbhajan Singh on the distinguished list of those to claim 400 scalps in the longest format for India.

The 34-year-old is the 16th player to the milestone overall, getting there in only his 77th match. He is the second fastest to 400 too, behind only Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan in terms of games played.

Ashwin moved six wickets shy of the milestone by taking match figures of 8-95 in an emphatic defeat of Joe Root's side at M.A. Chidambaram Stadium last time out, having claimed 9-207 in the first Test.

He also struck a sublime century - the fifth of his career - in a magnificent man-of-the-match performance at his home ground in Chennai, where India levelled the series at 1-1.

After claiming 3-26 as the tourists were bowled out for 112 on day one of the game in Ahmedabad, Ashwin removed Ben Stokes and Ollie Pope before Archer became his 400th Test victim, given out for a two-ball duck after attempting a sweep shot.

Sachin Tendulkar - Test cricket's all-time leading runscorer - was quick to congratulate his compatriot on Twitter.

"Terrific consistency!" Tendulkar wrote. "Well done, keep it up. Joy to watch you bowl."

Captain Joe Root was England's unlikely star with the ball, claiming his first five-wicket haul as India were bowled out for 145 in the third Test. 

After managing just 112 in their first innings at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, the tourists needed quick wickets on day two to stay in the contest, India resuming their reply on 99-3. 

The hosts moved their score on to 114 without further loss in the first session, only to then endure a stunning collapse of their own, their last seven wickets falling for 41 runs.

Root grabbed the majority of them to finish with stunning figures of 5-8. His previous best in first-class cricket was 4-5, while he had also claimed a four-wicket haul in his Test career, against South Africa in Port Elizabeth in January 2020. 

His off-spin found help on a turning surface as he conceded the fewest runs in a Test five-wicket haul for an England player since Arthur Gilligan's 6-7, South Africa the opponents back in 1924.

It was also the first five-for by an England captain since Bob Willis' 5-35 against New Zealand in 1983.

Jack Leach backed up his skipper with 4-54 as India were restricted to a 33-run lead after both teams had batted once in the game, with the four-match series in the balance at 1-1.

Trinidad and Tobago Red Force made it six wins in a row, as they produced a commanding performance to power past the Jamaica Scorpions and into the CG Insurance Super50 final.

This victory was set up by three key efforts,  Ravi Rampaul started with the ball and was then complemented by Lendl Simmons and Nicholas Pooran with the bat.

Firstly Rampaul, in claiming his second CG Insurance Man-of-the-Match award of the tournament, with figures of 29 for 4, played a key role in restricting the Scorpions to a below-par score of 255-7 on a very good batting surface.

In reply, batting second for the sixth consecutive match, Simmons (63) scored his 27th List A half-century to set the perfect platform, before Pooran’s unbeaten innings of 54, his 11th List A half-century, finished things off in style with eight overs to spare.

Earlier on, Jamaica lost the early wicket of Aldaine Thomas but after that John Campbell (88) and Brandon King (58) played well. When they reached 95-1 in the 22nd over, King smashed Jason Mohammed for a big straight six to bring up his second half-century of the tournament.

The Red Force would strike five overs later with the Scorpions, at 113-2 in the 27th over, when King gave Anderson Phillip his second wicket, playing back to a delivery that kept a bit low. The wicket ended the 108-run second-wicket alliance between Campbell and King.

At 168-2 in the 35th over, the Scorpions looked set for a big final charge. However, the Campbell/McCarthy third-wicket partnership of 58 runs would end as McCarthy (35) presented a catch off veteran leg-spinner Imran Khan to Rampaul at leg on.

Attempting to defend that total, the Scorpions almost got a perfect start in the first over, but Nkrumah Bonner dropped a difficult long-on boundary catch from Simmons off Scorpions off-spinner Jamie Merchant. When Red Force were 29-0 in the fifth over, Evin Lewis (14) was also dropped by Campbell at first slip, again by the unlucky Merchant. As the big-hitting opening duo raced to their 50-partnership in the eighth over, those missed catches were even more critical.

Leading up to the 25th over, Jamaica got three wickets, the last of which when Simmons (68) skied a catch off Allen to Bonner at the long-on boundary. Despite T&T further losing Jason Mohammed (41), who was bowled by Odean Smith, Pooran (54 not out) was joined by captain Pollard (36 not out) who quickly hit five massive sixes to celebrate the win in style and get ready for Saturday's grand final.

Prominent Guyana attorney Arudranauth Gossai has cast doubts any injunction put forward to prevent the staging of the Guyana Cricket Board elections on Friday will succeed, as he does not believe the objections to be ground on a firm legal footing.

Earlier this week, lawyers for Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) Secretary Anand Sanasie wrote sharply worded letters to Guyana Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Charles Ramson Jr and Attorney Kamal Ramkarran, objecting to the appointment of both a cricket Ombudsman and the 7-day time period given for the staging of elections as illegal under the Guyana Cricket Administration Act.

The attorneys had given the minister until Tuesday to withdraw the appointment or that legal action could be taken to quash the appointment.  The letters further asserted that close relations with Cricket West Indies president Ricky Skerritt had tainted the overall decision.

In response, Ramson Jr flatly rejected all the assertions made by Sanasie’s attorneys and insisted that he was on firm legal ground and well within the powers of the Guyana Cricket Administration Act.

“While it must be stated at the outset that since the restoration of the provisions of the Guyana Cricket Administration Act 2014 and pursuant to Order of Court by Justice Fidela Corbin in Berbice Cricket Board v Fizul Bacchus et al dated 3rd April 2019 in Action number 2018-HC-DEM-CIV-FDA-1200, the capacity in which your client purports to instruct you is not recognized, paragraph two is denied and your position on the issue is incorrect as it is res judicata (see Judgement of Fidela Corbin dated 3rd April 2019 in SAYWACK V LEWIS in Action number 2018-HC-DEM-CIV-FDA-808),” the minister wrote in response.

“The Guyana Cricket Administration Act 2014, the subject Minister is entitled, empowered, and obliged to appoint the Cricket Ombudsman and the date for the first election of the Guyana Cricket Board until completed. I fraternally take the liberty to direct your attention to paras 15, 26, and 27 of the judgment.”

Gossai, who has been closely aligned to the issue as a legal representative of the Berbice Cricket Board (BC), agrees the minister is within his rights.

“In order to get an injunction you have to show that your claim is going to succeed.  I see some letters circulating in the press purportedly from Mr Sanasie’s lawyers to the minister to the president of Cricket West Indies and the Ombudsman and based on those things in the letter if those are the grounds then they are bound to fail,” Gossai told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“One of the things they are saying is that the minister cannot appoint another Ombudsman because he has already appointed an Ombudsman and that person has resigned.  But strangely enough, I notice in that letter that there is no mention of Sanasie when he was quote and quote secretary of the cricket board Mr (Dave) Cameron had consulted with the minister and appointed another Ombudsman.  For some strange reason, it might have been an oversight but that was left out of the correspondence.”

Martin Guptill starred as New Zealand equalled their six-hitting record before holding on to win a nail-biting second Twenty20 against Australia by four runs in Dunedin.

Guptill thundered 97 off 50 balls, including eight sixes and six fours, before being caught off Daniel Sams' bowling to miss out on a third career T20 international century as the Black Caps posted a bumper 219-7.

Captain Kane Williamson's 13th T20 half-century was subdued by comparison, hitting three sixes on his way to 53 runs from 35 balls, while James Neesham crashed six maximums to finish unbeaten on 45 from 16 balls.

The hosts' 18 sixes at University Oval tied their all-time record in a T20 international and proved a shade too much for Australia to chase down, as Mitchell Santner claimed 4-31 to rip through the middle order.

Josh Philippe (45 off 32) had steadied the ship, before Marcus Stoinis and Sams came together at 113-6 and picked up the pace in the last seven overs to give New Zealand a major scare.

Stoinis recorded his first T20 half century as Australia closed on an unlikely victory, needing 36 off the final three overs, and 15 off the last, but Neesham's full toss saw Sams caught for 41 to end a thrilling partnership of 92 runs off 37 balls.

Neesham tempted Stoinis into a big shot, which ended his innings for 78, and the tourists came up short on 215-8 as New Zealand sealed a 2-0 lead in the five-match series, going into the third T20 in Wellington on March 3.

The hosts came out swinging from the off, with Guptill posting 17 runs in the opening three overs, but the Black Caps were temporarily slowed when Kane Richardson claimed Tim Seifert (3) with his first ball.

But Guptill blazed through the rest of the power play, thumping a pair of sixes off Adam Zampa's bowling, before bringing up his half century from 27 balls and taking the score to 59-1 off seven overs.

Australia controlled the run rate over the next few overs until Williamson opened up with a maximum off Ashton Agar as New Zealand made it to 85-1 at the halfway point of the innings.

Guptill slammed back-to-back sixes off Stoinis to take his team past 100, and made it four maximums in the space of five balls as a Kane Richardson over was crunched for 21 to bring up the 100 partnership.

Williamson brought up his 50 for 32 balls and Guptill fell three runs short of 100, with Stoinis taking the catch in the deep, before Neesham teed off with three straight sixes.

The tourists gave themselves a chance with Jhye Richardson and Kane Richardson conceding only 10 runs combined off the 18th and 19th, but their hopes of chasing 220 suffered a blow when Matthew Wade (24) fell to Tim Southee (1-47) to leave them at 34-1.

After Aaron Finch lost his wicket to Ish Sodhi for 12, Santner took control, removing Glenn Maxwell (3) and claiming three more wickets in a single over – including Philippe – to leave Australia needing 107 with seven overs remaining.

But the mood turned quickly as Stoinis and Sams' electric partnership created a tense finish before the pair were both caught off Neesham's bowling to leave the New Zealanders breathing a sigh of relief.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.