Australia 2 for 129 (Haynes 40*, Healy 33) beat New Zealand 128 (Satterthwaite 30, Kimmince 3-21, Wareham 3-26) by 8 wickets
A combined 0 for 43 for Jess Jonassen and Megan Schutt, while Ellyse Perry continued her rehabilitation at the boundary’s edge, merely allowed Australia to showcase their formidable bowling depth as New Zealand were outclassed for the second time in as many days to surrender the T20I series at Allan Border Field.
Delissa Kimmince, Georgia Wareham and Sophie Molineux all shone in exploiting the vagaries of a slow and at times sharply spinning surface in Brisbane to round up the visitors for 128, before Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney added a rapid 51 to leave a comfortable equation for Rachael Haynes and Meg Lanning to complete.
New Zealand were again on the wrong end of a couple of marginal decisions, Amy Satterthwaite given out stumped by a millimetre when she was just getting into a position to hurt Australia, but overall the gulf between the sides was enormous. Australia have now won 10 bilateral T20I series in succession against all comers, and will be particularly gratified to have closed this one out without major contributions from their three most seasoned bowlers.
Spinning into early trouble
A used surface and the prospect of assistance for slow bowlers had Sophie Devine showing little hesitation in batting first upon winning the toss. Lanning responded in kind by giving Jonassen the first over, from which she conceded a frugal five. But after Schutt went for 11 in the second, Lanning adjusted by loading up on spin and bringing Molineux, Ash Garnder and then Wareham all into the attack.
Molineux dropped on the ideal length quickly enough to coax a return catch from Devine with her very first ball, and with her sixth she turned one a vast distance to beat Maddie Green. It was the sort of over to swing momentum, and in the next over Green was run out trying to force a second run – replays showing she had failed to ground her bat over the line in a desperate dive for safety. So from a promising first couple of overs, New Zealand were already starting to flounder.
Line calls to Australia again
For the second time in as many days, the Australians were given a good deal of assistance by the close calls going their way. First, Satterthwaite was given out stumped off the bowling of Wareham, just as she appeared to be in a position to accelerate. There were millimetres in the question of whether or not Satterthwaite had grounded her foot back over the crease line, and a deliberation time of nearly five minutes for third umpire Donavan Koch suggested more than enough doubt to rule in New Zealand’s favour. Nevertheless, the red light eventually flashed.
Later, as Wareham and Molineux had spun their web further, Lauren Down trying to swing a ball away to leg and being given out after a jumble of ball, pads and possibly bat or glove. Neither Wareham nor Healy – who appeared more interested in the stumping – appealed with any conviction, but the finger was once again raised. In all, spin combined for figures of 5 for 74 from 13 overs, backed up nicely by the seam variations of Kimmince and Nicola Carey.
Powerplayers set the pace
At best, New Zealand needed a repeat of their tidy early overs in game one if they were to pressure the Australians into a scenario from where the visitors could win. Instead, Healy and Mooney recognised the chance to take the initiative and were into stride almost before Devine or her bowlers could do much at all about it. Mooney, out cheaply on Saturday, found a couple of sweetly timed drives against the new ball, before Healy launched herself at Suzie Bates to crunch 22 from a single over.
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These blows meant that the hosts were able to march past 50 in the space of 4.1 overs, meaning that whatever happened next, the run rate was never likely to be an issue. So when Healy and Mooney both fell relatively soon after the milestone was passed, the seasoned pair of Lanning and Haynes had plenty of time to get themselves set before relaunching.
Haynes, Lanning mop up operation
Sixty-five were required from 75 balls when Haynes joined Lanning, meaning that a calm union would likely be more than enough. Australia’s Nos. 3 and 4 were duly able to absorb some tight bowling before gradually accelerating, doing so in a manner that allowed the target to be reeled in with an ample 20 balls to spare.
In two days, each member of the Australian top five has contributed at least one score of note, making for a truly daunting combination against New Zealand or indeed any opponent. All this with Perry watching from the sidelines – there appears absolutely no need to rush her back from the hamstring injury that had compelled Australia to so memorably win the T20 World Cup without her earlier this year.
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