Half Centuries from Alyssa Healy, Ellyse Perry and Ashleigh Gardner has guided Australia to a 6 wicket victory against the arch-rivals New Zealand, in Mount Maunganui. With this victory, Lanning led side has broken the 18 years old record. made by their male counterparts, of highest winning streaks in ODI. Lanning led side hasn’t dropped a single game from their 2018 series against India and here too the match was set up by Megan Schutt in the first innings.
Needing 213 runs to eclipse the all-time record for the most consecutive ODI victories set by Ricky Ponting’s team of 2003, Alyssa Healy (65 from 68 balls) made a timely return to form before Ellyse Perry (56no from 79) and Ashleigh Gardner (53no from 41) iced the victory with 69 balls to spare.
Megan Schutt (4-36) and Nicola Carey (3-34) had earlier starred with the ball to bowl the hosts out for 212, despite White Ferns opener Lauren Down posting a career-best 90 from 134.
Though the 3 half-centuries won the game for the Aussies, it was New Zealand on top early in Australia’s chase after Rachael Haynes edged Jess Kerr to depart for 14, and Hannah Rowe claimed the enormous wicket of captain Meg Lanning for five. After a watchful start Healy, one of four players to appear in all 22 victories, took the chase by the scruff of the neck with her first major innings of the tour.
Lanning had arrived at the crease averaging 131 at Bay Oval, a venue where she’s scored three of her 14 ODI tons, but she could not replicate her past heroics at the venue, leaving Australia 2-37 in the ninth over. Needing someone to step up in the face of tight bowling from Rosemary Mair and Kerr, Healy snapped a run of single-digit scores from the T20 leg of the tour as she put on a crucial 78-run third-wicket stand with Perry.
Perry brought up her 28th ODI fifty, playing her first one-dayer in the green and gold since October 2019, while Gardner smacked the third of her three enormous sixes to reach a half-century of her own and seal the victory, an exclamation point on a world record three years in the making.
Earlier, Megan Schutt struck with her first delivery of the match after Australia unveiled a fresh new-ball pairing. Tourists keen to make the most of Tayla Vlaeminck’s express pace, she was the first to be thrown the ball by Lanning. After she delivered a maiden, a superb inswinger from Schutt got through Jensen’s defences, bowling the opener for a golden duck.
Amy Satterthwaite joined Down and they dug in to weather the combination of Vlaeminck’s and Schutt scoring just five runs from the first five overs. Their 69-run stand was eventually broken in the 20th over when Carey had Satterthwaite, the White Ferns’ best batter, caught at mid-on for 32. Down, who had a previous top score of 15 from 10 ODI innings, reached her half-century from 90 deliveries, forming a second key partnership with Amelia Kerr.
The pair slowly turned the momentum in the hosts’ favour, attacking the leg-spin of Georgia Wareham and the pace of Vlaeminck, whose last two overs went for 21 runs after just four came off her opening four-over spell. Their 90-run stand ended in contentious circumstances when Schutt deceived an advancing Kerr and Healy whipped off the bails. Sent upstairs, replays did not appear conclusive but television umpire Eugene Sanders determined the stumping had been successfully executed, with Kerr out for 33.
From a strong position at 2-159 in the 38th over, the White Ferns lost 8-53 in 71 balls. Katey Martin was sent back after taking off for a quick single, but a desperate dive was not enough as Healy whipped off the bails after a sharp throw from Jess Jonassen.
The return of Carey in the 40th over brought the key breakthrough Australia were searching for, denying Down a maiden international century when she chipped a simple return catch back to the Australian allrounder. Brooke Halliday (13), Maddy Green (12), Jess Kerr (3) and Rowe (13) fell in quick succession before bizarre running between the wickets between Mair and Lea Tahuhu had the former run out, ending the New Zealand innings on 212 in 48.5 overs.
Schutt finished with 4-32, while the decision to back in Carey ahead of left-arm spinner Sophie Molineux paid off, as she claimed the key wickets of Satterthwaite and Down at crucial moments and finished her 9.5 overs with figures of 3-34.
New Zealand 212/10 (Lauren Down 90; Megan Schutt 4/32) lost to Australia 215/4 (Alyssa Healy 65; Amy Satterthwaite 1/10) by 6 wickets.