Australia 6 for 255 (Lanning 101*, Haynes 82, Kerr 3-47) beat New Zealand 9 for 252 (Devine 79, Satterthwaite 69, Jonassen 4-36) by four wickets
Meg Lanning produced another chasing masterclass, bringing up her 14th ODI century with the winning boundary, as Australia extended their hold on the Rose Bowl to 21 years. Their four-wicket victory over New Zealand in the 2nd ODI also gave them a chance to equal the world record of consecutive ODI wins held by Ricky Ponting’s 2003 team.
Lanning, who appeared to be battling a tweaked right hamstring for much of her innings, and Rachael Haynes put on 117 for the second wicket to break the back of their chase of 256. This is the biggest target Australia has needed to chase in their 20-match winning run.
Amelia Kerr claimed three wickets, including two in consecutive balls, to leave Australia needing 57 with five wickets in hand. But they still got home quite comfortably in the end, as Lanning remained a calming, nerveless figure. Annabel Sutherland, who had shown her batting credentials on T20I debut against England earlier this year, gave another display of her talent in a settling stand of 49 to see off the chase.
A Lanning six off a free hit against Kerr for a fielding regulation infringement helped ease the pressure although it appeared the captain could pull up short of three figures when Nicola Carey struck a boundary to leave three runs needed, but she then blocked out the rest of the over and Lanning produced a trademark late cut to crown her match.
New Zealand produced a much better batting display than the opening game as Sophie Devine and Amy Satterthwaite both struck half-centuries before strong flurries from Katie Martin and Maddy Green, but a late collapse of 5 for 2 in nine balls sapped the momentum in the closing overs.
Alyssa Healy threatened something destructive at the beginning of the chase when she took 14 off the first over from Lea Tahuhu – who was later forced off with a back injury early in her second spell. Though she was bowled by Devine, Lanning and Haynes were barely troubled as they chipped away briskly at the target.
Haynes was superbly fluent as she collected 58 of her 89 runs in boundaries, which included a six onto the grass banks, regularly threading the ball through the off side and it came as big surprise when she picked out cover against a full toss from Devine.
Kerr then gave New Zealand a glimmer of upsetting the chase. Beth Mooney was lbw when she missed a leg-break that took the back leg, Sophie Molineux did not pick the googly as she advanced down the pitch and Ash Gardner edged her first ball to leave Kerr on a hat-trick – the third such opportunity of the day – and Australia on 5 for 196 but there was never any run-rate pressure.
New Zealand had been forced to reshuffle their batting order after injury had ruled Suzie Bates out of the series. It meant Devine pushed herself up to open and alongside Natalie Dodd was able to build a solid start with an opening stand of 75 in 18 overs.
Devine and Satterthwaite then put all their experience to good use, although Australia never allowed the run rate to escape from them. There was, however, more proactivity against the spinners than in the opening match where the New Zealand batters had become stuck.
Satterthwaite initially struggled to find her timing and was 18 off 33 balls before finding her stride in what became an increasingly fluent innings. She took three boundaries off an over by Carey and brought up her half-century from 58 balls.
Australia were able to build pressure on Devine and the frustration of not being able to up her scoring rate was showing when she top-edged a sweep off Jess Jonassen. Kerr picked out mid-on against Carey and when Sattherthwaite chipped a return catch to Molineux, New Zealand needed to find someone to give the innings a strong finish.
Martin and Green did an excellent job in a stand of 42 in less than four overs where, just briefly, it felt like Australia were losing a little bit of control but Jonassen removed both in consecutive ball in the penultimate over and would end up taking three in the over.
Megan Schutt also found herself on a hat-trick in the final over and that late clatter of wickets may have been the difference between 250 and 270, although even the latter may not have been enough against this Australia team – and the master of a run chase, Meg Lanning.
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