Australia set a new world record for the most consecutive ODI wins, a streak of 22, after beating New Zealand in the first match of the Rose Bowl series at Bay Oval.
The visitors beat New Zealand by six wickets courtesy of half-centuries from Ashleigh Gardner, Ellyse Perry, and Alyssa Healy while Megan Schutt and Nicola Carey spearheaded the bowling attack.
Earlier, Australia won the toss and opted to field first. It seemed a good decision with the ball swinging from ball one. New Zealand were immediately put under pressure after Tayla Vlaeminck started off with a maiden over. In the next over, Schutt then bowled Hayley Jensen out for a golden duck off her first ball of the match.
Amy Satterthwaite, who is captaining the side in place of Sophie Devine, joined Lauren Down in the middle. The duo weathered the dangerous swing bowling of Vlaeminck as they anchored New Zealand’s innings. It was Carey that got the important breakthrough, picking up the wicket of Satterthwaite and putting an end to a threatening 68-run partnership.
The dismissal of Satterthwaite didn’t slow New Zealand down, Amelia Kerr and Down stitched together a 90-run partnership, during the course of which Down registered her maiden ODI fifty. The pair was looking solid until Amelia was stumped by Healy off Schutt’s bowling, reducing New Zealand to 159/3.
From there New Zealand failed to build a solid partnership and lost wickets at regular intervals. Down’s splendid knock (90) came to an end when Carey caught and bowled her, just 10 runs short of her first ever century.
The Australian bowlers picked off the bottom order with little trouble. Schutt added two more wickets to her tally, dismissing Maddy Green and Jess Kerr while Hannah Rowe became Carey’s third victim.
New Zealand were bundled out for 212, thanks to a spirited bowling effort from Australia led by Schutt, who finished with brilliant figures of 4/32.
In the chase, Australia got off to a steady start with Healy and Rachael Haynes adding 23 runs before the end of the seventh over. Jess then had Haynes caught with Katey Martin taking a brilliant diving catch behind the stumps.
Captain Meg Lanning came out to bat at No.3 but was sent back to the pavilion early by Hannah Rowe, scoring just 5 runs.
Perry joined Healy in the middle as the duo looked to revive Australia’s innings. Healy opted for an aggressive approach while Perry was more cautious. The pair combined for a 78-run third-wicket stand, taking Australia past the 100 run mark.
Healy’s 68-ball 65 came to an end when she was caught and bowled by Amelia in the 22nd over. In came Beth Mooney, who failed to make a huge contribution after she was dismissed for 12 runs.
A six to bring up @akgardner97's third ODI fifty...and a record victory for @AusWomenCricket! 👏— ICC (@ICC) April 4, 2021
Australia defeat New Zealand by six wickets to go 1-0 up in the Rose Bowl series.#NZvAUS pic.twitter.com/RIAwrvtrH1
Perry found support with Gardner, who showed her intent from the get-go, smashing Kerr for two boundaries in the first over she faced. The duo eased past the New Zealand bowlers combining for 79 runs, with both batters scoring fifties.
Perry and Gardner provided the finishing touches as Australia sealed an historic win. The two sides will meet in the second ODI on Wednesday, 7 April.
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