Australia punctured New Zealand's momentum at regular intervals in the Twenty20 tri-series cricket final at Eden Park in Auckland last night to restrict them to 150 for nine after the hosts chose to bat.

Three pairs of wickets meant the Black Caps' chance of accelerating were as effective as flooring it in a mobility scooter at a retirement village. If Ross Taylor hadn't eked out 43 off 38 balls, they would barely have escaped first gear.

Ashton Agar's controlled left-arm orthodox spin led the way with three for 27, including seven dot balls.

He deceived Kane Williamson as the New Zealand captain tried to force the pace; that was followed two balls later by Mark Chapman attempting to sweep. Chapman reviewed in the hope Agar might have pitched outside the line of leg stump from around the wicket, but the Decision Review System suggested umpire Wayne Knights executed a quality decision.


In his following over, Agar lured Colin de Grandhomme into a swing towards cow corner. Glenn Maxwell was there to milk the catch, much to the crowd's angst.

For the Black Caps it was Noah's Ark time as they went two by two into a slump. Their vessel was breaking up with a flood of what were eventually 47 Australian dot balls, led by Kane Richardson with 12 on his way to two for 30.

As the sun dipped behind the Waitakere Ranges, so did New Zealand hopes of rekindling the batting bravado of last Friday.

The first pair fell within six balls, straddling the fifth and sixth overs.

Martin Guptill slapped a Billy Stanlake ball to David Warner at mid-off to leave them 48 for one. Warner's fist pump looked like he could've split concrete blocks under the tutelage of Mr Miyagi.

Colin Munro went next. After hammering Richardson for six over long-on he attempted another straight loft and found Agar at mid-on. If Richardson had donned a few gold chains and ripped open a couple more shirt buttons his reaction would've won Stars In Their Eyes as Dennis Lillee. After the dismissal he finished the powerplay in almost perfect fashion with three dot balls, until Chapman cut him for four off the last.

Agar's duet of Williamson and Chapman came next within three balls during the eighth over.

De Grandhomme's exit in the 10th was coupled with Mitchell Santner getting a first ball glove through to wicketkeeper Alex Carey off Andrew Tye. That left the hosts at 93 for six and in danger of slipping to their lowest T20 score at the ground, 107 against South Africa last summer.

A 38-run ninth-wicket partnership from 36 balls offered some solace as Ish Sodhi provided Taylor with some stability after Tim Seifert and Tim Southee scooted.

New Zealand were entitled to back themselves, as they did in the match last Friday when the visitors unleashed a T20 world record chase, but Australia were too clinical to give them much leeway for expression.