Australia continued their record-breaking run in ODIs, beating New Zealand by 71 runs in the second match and took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the Rose Bowl series.
New Zealand won the toss and asked Australia to bat. The visitors put up a competitive total, thanks to a splendid 87-run knock by Rachael Haynes along with valuable contributions from skipper Meg Lanning (49) and Alyssa Healy (44).
From the start, Australia looked set to post a 300-plus total but a six-wicket haul from Leigh Kasperek put the brakes on their innings as they finished on 271/7.
Playing her 200th international match for Australia, Healy hit three boundaries across the first four balls of her innings as she and Haynes stitched an 82-run opening stand.
When Kasperek (6/46) had Healy caught in the deep for 44, the White Ferns could be forgiven for breathing a sigh of relief, fully aware of what the destructive opener could do in full flight. It was the first of six wickets the spinner would take for the day.
Unfortunately for the hosts, the dismissal did not slow Australia down. With the platform set, Lanning wasted little time getting herself in, hitting back-to-back boundaries off Kasperek in the 20th over, driving back over the bowler's head on both occasions. At the other end, Haynes continued to grow into her innings, reaching her half-century in 72 balls and accelerating from there.
The duo put on a 98-run stand in just 15.3 overs before Lanning fell for 49 to opposite number Amy Satterthwaite (1/40) in the 34th over, much to the relief of Rosemary Mair, who had earlier dropped her on 48 at deep square leg in the previous over. New Zealand struck another key blow shortly after as Haynes perished looking for her ninth boundary, caught at long-on off Kasperek for 87.
Haynes' dismissal brought first-match heroes Ellyse Perry and Ashleigh Gardner together but their combination did not prove as effective this time around, with Gardner falling for 19 to Kasperek. The spinner picked up her fourth wicket when she had Perry caught at point for 16 in the 42nd over and wrapped up a five-wicket haul by dismissing Nicola Carey (14).
Despite the flurry of wickets, the Australians still managed to pass 250 as Beth Mooney scored 26 off 28 before falling to Kasperek in the final over.
The fourth-best ODI figures by a @WHITE_FERNS bowler ever.— ICC (@ICC) April 7, 2021
The first time a New Zealand player has taken six wickets in a women’s ODI against Australia.
Well done, Leigh Kasperek 👏#NZvAUS pic.twitter.com/2QL5ekr6dT
To the White Ferns' credit, they managed to stem the flow of runs after an expensive start with the ball, with seamer Jess Kerr (0/51) tightening the screws to restrict Australia to 41 runs from the last 10 overs.
In the chase, New Zealand got off to a shaky start as Lauren Down departed in the very first over, edging the ball to Lanning at slips. In the very next over, Megan Schutt snared the wicket of captain Satterthwaite, leaving New Zealand reeling at 7/2.
Hayley Jensen was then joined by Amelia Kerr in the middle as the duo looked to weather the early Australian storm. The duo stitched a solid partnership of 69 runs for the third wicket. Georgia Wareham was the bowler successful in breaking the stubborn partnership after she had Jensen caught at mid-off.
Despite the wicket, Amelia looked to push New Zealand’s innings forward along with Brooke Halliday. The pair combined for 44 runs until the former fell to Jess Jonassen, just three runs short of her half-century.
Halliday’s attempt to revive the New Zealand chase was brought to an end after a brilliant direct hit from Haynes, which resulted in her being run out. Maddy Green got off to a good start but failed to convert her start into a big score after she was stumped off Jonassen’s bowling.
Towards the end, New Zealand’s lower order collapsed, losing three wickets in quick succession before Jonassen dealt the final blow, running out Mair and putting an end to the chase.
New Zealand fell short by 71 runs as Australia clinched the ODI series with a game left to play.