New Zealand vs. Australia – Second T20I, February 24, 2021
New Zealand heads into the second of five T20Is against Australia, boasting a somewhat unexpected 1-0 lead in the series.
The teams clash again at the University of Otago Oval on Wednesday, February 24, following a 53-run victory for the Blackcaps in the first match.
Below, I share my New Zealand vs. Australia prediction and betting pick. But first, let’s take a look at the bookmakers’ odds.
New Zealand vs. Australia Second T20I Odds
The leading online sportsbooks priced Australia and 1.76 to win the first game, while New Zealand was the outsider at 1.95. But as you can see, the odds for the second match look a little different.
This time around, the Kiwis (1.80) are the favorites, while the Aussies (2.00) are the underdogs. Still, the odds gap is notably narrow here.
Let’s take a closer look at the teams.
New Zealand vs. Australia Second T20I Preview
Following two successful series against the West Indies and Pakistan, New Zealand secured their fifth win in seven T20I matches by recording a sizeable victory over Australia on Monday.
The Aussies won the toss and decided to bowl – and things started well for the tourists. Openers Martin Guptil (0) and Tim Seifert (1) only managed to score one run between them before captain Kane Williamson fell for just 12.
But after that, it was all about Devon Conway.
The big-hitting left-hander smashed 99* off 59 to get his side to a respectable total of 185/4, along with solid cameos from Glenn Phillips (30) and Jimmy Neesham (26). Conway has now posted five consecutive 50+ T20 scores, including three 90+, not outs.
It goes without saying that if Conway gets going again on Wednesday, the Blackcaps will be difficult to stop.
Daniel Sams and Jhye Richardson both picked up a couple of wickets, with Marcus Stoinis grabbing the other. But Adam Zampa, Kane Richardson, Ashton Agar, and Glenn Maxwell were all unsuccessful with the ball.
Meanwhile, Mitch Marsh (45) was the only Australian player to offer any kind of resistance with the bat.
Aaron Finch’s wretched form continued, with the captain falling for just 1. Highly-rated youngster Josh Philippe only managed to score 2 on debut, while Matthew Wade (12), Maxwell (1), and Stoinis (8) fell without troubling the Kiwis.
New Zealand leg spinner Ish Sodhi tore through the tourist’s batting line-up, finishing with figures of 4/28, leaving Tim Southee (2/10) and Trent Boult (2/22) clean up.
The Aussies were eventually bowled out for just 131, falling 53 runs short of the host’s total. All in all, it was a bad day at the office for Australia.
New Zealand vs. Australia Second T20I Betting Pick
New Zealand to Win1.80
Admittedly, I backed Australia to win the series opener. But after seeing how both teams performed in the first game, it is difficult to bet against the Blackcaps this time around.
New Zealand was strong in every department on Monday, while the Aussies were clearly off the pace.
Conway is arguably in the form of his life right now. Having smashed 91*, 93*, and 99* in his last three T20 outings, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Kiwi singlehandedly wins the game for his team again.