New Zealand have spiced up the Rose Bowl series of ODIs against Australia with a convincing 8 wicket victory over the Aussies, with 31 balls to spare, in the first of the four game series.
Australia won the toss and chose to bat at the SCG and must have been targeting in excess of 300 after Meg Lanning and Leah Poulton got them off to a swift start on a good batting track and with a slick outfield. Poulton fell in the seventh offer with the score on 42, but Lanning then lost a succession of partners meaning that the Southern Stars had to keep rebuilding. Lanning was the 6th Aussie wicket to fall when the score was 156 and nearly 30 overs had gone. It was only thanks to good knocks by skipper Jodie Fields (51) and Erin Osborne (34), who added 80 for the 8th wicket in 14 overs, that Australia reached 248. Rachel Candy picked up 4 for 35, including the key early wickets of Jess Cameron and Lisa Sthalekar, and Sian Ruck and Morna Nielsen picked up two wickets apiece.
In reply, after the early loss of opener Lucy Doolan, New Zealand rarely looked in trouble. Skipper Suzie Bates (122*) and Amy Satterthwaite (98) put on 172 for the second wicket, with Satterthwaite finally falling lbw to a full-toss from part-time bowler Meg Lanning. But it was too little too late and Bates guided her team home with plenty of balls to spare for a victory which will give the White Ferns a great confidence boost for the rest of the series. The Aussies will be keen to square the series when the sides next meet at the North Sydney Oval on Friday.
Scorecard - http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/current/match/584546.html
Match Report - NZ - http://www.blackcaps.co.nz/news/womens/9/white-ferns-crush-australia-in-first-odi/10270/article.aspx
Match report - Aus - http://www.cricket.com.au/news-list/2012/12/12/southern-stars-eye-rose-bowl-revenge