Australia's dominance of the ICC Women’s Championship continued as they swept New Zealand 3-0 with a seven-wicket victory in the final one-day international in Melbourne on Sunday, 3 March.
Opting to bat, New Zealand posted 231/8, thanks to Sophie Devine’s 90-ball 58, and 40s from Amy Satterthwaite (49 off 48) and Katie Perkins (41 off 53). That was of little concern to Australia, for whom Ellyse Perry guided the chase with an unbeaten 75-ball 54* after all of Rachel Haynes (46), Alyssa Healy (46) and Meg Lanning (48) got starts and put on partnerships.
Victory meant they consolidated their position at the top of the IWC table – they have 22 points in 12 matches, six above second-placed India who have played three matches more.
Australia flexed their batting muscle. None of their batters came good on their starts, but these were substantial starts, and that proved the difference. The openers, Haynes and Healy, put on a solid 84 to start things off.
Healy picked the gaps, Haynes threaded the fence, and during the course of their stand, New Zealand had little hope. The breakthrough came in the 17th over, when Kasperek got the better of Haynes, whose 58-ball knock comprised eight fours.
Healy followed suit within four overs, but she’d added a quick 24 with Lanning by then, and Australia were still well-placed at 108/2.
Thereafter, Lanning and Perry went about grinding down the total. Their 62-run stand substantially diminished New Zealand's hopes, and though Kasperek broke through for her second wicket – Lanning fell two short of a 12th ODI half-century – the momentum was with Australia.
Perry guided the chase thereafter, with Beth Mooney now providing company. Perry brought up her 25th ODI half-century, and with Mooney (35* off 43) carting four fours en route, Australia wrapped up the chase with 13 balls to spare.
New Zealand will be disappointed they didn’t make the most of a bright start. Suzie Bates and Devine had put on a solid 70 for the first wicket before Bates was undone by the leg-spin of Georgia Wareham. Lauren Down lasted just five balls, before becoming Wareham’s second wicket, and suddenly New Zealand were 73/2.
Katey Martin didn’t last long either – Ashleigh Gardner snuffed her out for a 25-ball 13 – and it was only when Satterthwaite came in that Devine had steady support again. The two added 39 runs for the fourth wicket before Gardner struck again, trapping Devine in front in the 33rd over.
But Satterthwaite then took charge, scoring at over a run-a-ball, and with Perkins offering good support, New Zealand could accumulate. The two added 44 runs for the fifth wicket, and New Zealand were inching towards the 200-mark when the stand was broken in unfortunate circumstances – Satterthwaite was run out.
It was up to Perkins then to take the innings deep. Even as Hayley Jensen (9) and Kasperek (12) were sent back, Perkins knocked it around to take New Zealand past 200. By the time she was dismissed – run out, again – New Zealand had 222 on board. Lea Tahuhu managed a 3-ball 7* to boost that total, but it proved insufficient.
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