Worcestershire 2016 NatWest T20 Blast overseas player Mitchell Santner's fine all-round performance was unable to save New Zealand from a four wicket defeat in the second ODI against Australia in Wellington today.
Santner, who will arrive at New Road in mid May, led a Black Caps recovery with an unbeaten 45 off 39 balls as his side totalled 281-9 in their 50 overs.
The spinner then returned the excellent figures of 3-47 in 10 overs – with another Worcestershire 2016 overseas signing in paceman Matt Henry also making two big breakthroughs.
But an unbroken seventh wicket stand of 86 between Mitchell Marsh (69 not out) and John Hastings (48 not out) enabled Australia to win with 3.3 overs to spare.
Santner had come to the wicket with New Zealand in some trouble at 193-6 in the 37th over but he shepherded them through to a challenging total.
He hit one six and three fours and shared in an eighth wicket stand of 61 in seven overs with Adam MIlne (36).
Australia looked to be cruising to victory as openers David Warner (98) and Usman Khawaja (50) put on 122 in 17 overs.
But Santner made the first breakthrough in removing Khawaja and then Henry sent back Steve Smith (2) and George Bailey (0).
The odds appeared to be tipping New Zealand's way when Santer dismissed Warner and Matthew Wade (2) in successive overs to leave the visitors 197-6.
But Marsh and Hastings had the final say to level the series.