New Zealand women finally broke their three-year jinx against Australia in the Twenty20 International format as they won the third and final Twenty20 International against the reigning world champions by five wickets at the Allan Border field in Brisbane on Wednesday. This was New Zealand’s first win since 2017 against Australia and it helped them end the series 1-2 after losing the first two matches by a comfortable margin.
New Zealand had been dumped out of contention in the ICC Women’s World T20 in March by Australia and in September, their woes continued as they lost the first two games easily. However, a spirited bowling performance from Leah Tahuhu and Amelia Kerr, followed by some strong batting from Sophie Devine and Amy Satthertwaite helped the White Ferns overcome the odds.
New Zealand chose to bowl and they had Australia in trouble when Alyssa Healy, Beth Mooney and Rachel Haynes all fell cheaply. When Meg Lanning also fell cheaply, Ashleigh Gardner and Sophie Molineux tried to rebuild a stand but they struggled for momentum. Australia crawled into the death overs and they managed an under-par 123.
The performance of the Australian team clearly highlighted that they were missing their star Ellyse Perry, who has been ruled out of the ODI series as well due to a hamstring injury that has required extensive surgery.
New Zealand hold their nerve
New Zealand were also in trouble when Devine, Maddy Green and Suzie Bates all fell cheaply but Satterthwaite and Katey Martin stitched a 52-run stand that took New Zealand to safety. Although both Satterthwaite and Martin fell in quick succession, Hayley Jensen and Kerr took the visitors to safety.
Speaking after the match, Lanning said Australia had plenty to learn after the loss. “Unfortunately we couldn’t continue that momentum and New Zealand adapted to the conditions really well. Nice to be back playing cricket and think it will be a great battle in the ODI series,” Lanning said. Devine said the win would help them in the upcoming ODI series. “We had been training hard the last couple of weeks, credit to Australia we couldn’t put up the performances we would have liked in the first couple of games. Looking forward to the ODI series,” Lanning said.