Australia’s unbeaten run extended to a stunning 24 matches as they defeated New Zealand by 21 runs in the final women's ODI to take home the series 3-0 in a rain-affected match.
New Zealand had opted to field, but rain thereafter reduced the match to a 25-overs-a-side affair. Australia, thanks to a fine opening stand, posted 149/7, setting New Zealand a target of 150 in their 25 overs. Australia's bowlers then kept New Zealand to 128/9, extending a most glorious unbeaten run.
Earlier, Beth Mooney and Alyssa Healey, the Australia openers, put on 73 runs for the first wicket to lay the foundation for the innings. The partnership was broken by Lea Tahuhu (2/30) who dismissed Mooney for 28 (26) in the 11th over.
Wrist-spinner Leigh Kasperek was soon introduced, and she promptly triggered an implosion, plucking three crucial wickets – all of Healey (46), Ashleigh Gardner (1), and Rachael Haynes (0) were seen off in quick-succession in a fine three-wicket maiden over.
And just like that, Australia were seemingly incapacitated at 80/4, and was forced into rebuilding. Things got worse when Ellyse Perry was dismissed for 13, after getting caught at point after hitting a full toss from Amelia Kerr straight to the fielder. Captain Meg Lanning was also shot out for 15, after lofting one to Green off Tahuhu.
Nicola Carey (13), Georgia Wareham (18), and Jess Jonassen (9) provided the finishing touches to boost Australia's total, but New Zealand would have been optimistic of chasing it down.
New Zealand chase got off to a difficult start when Katey Martin was lured by a full-toss, only to be caught in the deep off Megan Schutt. At the other end, Hayley Jensen put up a fighting 29-ball 13, but she fell tamely to Wareham. After 10.1 overs, New Zealand were just 36/2.
The run-rate soared and the dot-balls mounted as the pressure on the hosts increased. New Zealand desperately needed a partnership, but kept losing wickets at regular intervals. A mix-up in the middle between Amelia Kerr and Satterthwaite didn't help matters, with Kerr falling for 4.
Satterthwaite (20), Brooke Halliday (15), and Maddy Green (8) all succumbed to pressure in the face of an increasing asking rate as New Zealand were reduced to 100/7.
2⃣4⃣ in a row!— ICC (@ICC) April 10, 2021
Australia maintain their unbeaten streak as they sweep the Rose Bowl series, beating New Zealand by 21 runs in the final ODI.#NZvAUS scorecard: https://t.co/4FmecoGKqN pic.twitter.com/6dk8Su2LL9
A late flourish from Lauren Down (16), Jess Kerr (17), and Tahuhu (21) came a little too late, as Australia completed a fine sweep.
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