New Zealand value to secure final spot
In-form Aaron Finch Australia's biggest threat in Auckland
Sky Cricket & Main Event, 6am Friday
New Zealand limped to a seven-wicket defeat to Australia in a rain-affected opening game of the Trans-Tasman Tri-Series but the Kiwis are worth backing to avenge that loss in Auckland.
Australia are guaranteed a place in the final after three wins out of three on their own turf and a New Zealand win would end England’s slender chances of making the showdown at Eden Park.
The Kiwis started their home leg of the tournament with a stylish victory over England and they were probably value for a wider winning margin than 12 runs.
Kane Williamson’s 72 anchored their innings, with Martin Guptill (65) teeing off at the other end, and their total of 196-5 included 11 sixes despite the fact that the Kiwis' hard-hitting Colins – Munro and De Grandhomme – fell cheaply.
That target proved too much for England as Tim Southee got rid of Jason Roy early on before spinners Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi shared four middle-order wickets and Southee and Trent Boult closed out the game.
Australia’s batsmen could pose more of a threat – particularly the in-form Glenn Maxwell, who scored 40 not out, 103 not out and 39 in the three home wins – but New Zealand’s bowlers are a serious handful in home conditions.
Boult, Southee and Santner will be confident of more early strikes when Australia bat so Aaron Finch could be a value top-runscorer bet from his new berth in the middle-order.
Finch has been in irresistible form recently, scoring 107, 106 and 62 in three ODI innings against England and blasting 20 off just five balls to seal victory in the last Tri-Series game at the MCG.
His 34 Twenty20 innings include seven fifties and an astonishing 156 against England in 2013 and he looks a real dangerman for Australia.
2pts 11-8 Sky Bet
A Finch top Australia runscorer
1pt 6-1 Betfair, Paddy Power
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