Australia beat New Zealand by 7 wickets in rain-hit T20

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New Zealand’s Colin De Grandhomme swings wildly at a delivery from Australia’s Marcus Stonis during their Twenty/20 cricket match in Sydney, Saturday, Feb. 3. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

Sydney (AP) — Chris Lynn scored 44 runs and Glenn Maxwell was 40 not out to pace Australia to a rain-affected seven-wicket victory over New Zealand in a Twenty20 tri-series match at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday.

After being sent in to bat, New Zealand were restricted to 117 for nine in their 20 overs. A rain delay reduced Australia’s target under the Duckworth-Lewis method to 95 runs in 15 overs, and the hosts scored 96-3 in 11.3 overs for an easy victory.

Australia fast bowler Billy Stanlake finished with figures of 3-15 after removing New Zealand’s top order. Stanlake took wickets off his first two balls to remove both New Zealand openers before claiming another wicket in his three-over opening spell.

In just his fourth international match, the 23-year-old Stanlake beat Colin Munro and Tom Bruce for pace and bounce on the pull shot when both were on three.

His inswinging delivery to remove Martin Guptill was his best, taking the top off Guptill’s stump.

“That is the most nervous that I have felt in quite a while,” Stanlake said. “The first over seemed to settle me down a bit, so that was nice.”

Stanlake, named man of the match, and fellow opening pace bowler Kane Richardson (0-28) were so dominant that they sent down 18 dot balls in the first four overs and held New Zealand to 3-29 in the six-over power play.

It was the first match in the tri-series tournament also involving England. Australia play England on Wednesday in Hobart and next Saturday in Melbourne before the series shifts to New Zealand.