Three-time tournament winners, Australia marched on to their 12th consecutive win while contrastingly handing New Zealand their seventh straight loss with a 33-run win and book their spot in the semi finals for the sixth time at the Women’s World T20 at Providence last night.
Meg Lanning, in her 50th match as T20 captain won the toss for Australia and elected to bat. Her team posted 153-7 and limited the Kiwis to 120 all out in 17.3 overs. She secured her 38th win as skipper of the side.
For the third time in as many matches of the series, the Australian duo of Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney shared in a 50-plus stand as they ripped into the White Ferns’ bowling attack, getting to 44 without loss in the first six overs to the excitement of the 2200 in attendance.
Healy was fortunate to have a life after being dropped on 11 by Amelia Kerr at point but with the partnership on 71, Mooney was caught at long off by Suzie Bates for 26 inclusive of four boundaries while Sophie Devine accounted for Lanning cheaply to see the three-time champions 87-2.
Healy, who brought up her consecutive half century from just 33 deliveries was bowled by seamer, Hannah Rowe who is playing in her first match of the tournament.
The 28 year old Australian opener made 53, consisting of eight boundaries, three of which came from Rowe’s first over. Nevertheless, Australia reached the 100-run mark in the 13th over.
Bates’ exceptional night in the field continued as Ashleigh Gardner advanced down the track to orthodox bowler, Leigh Kasperek and popped it to Bates at long off once again, this time juggling it before grasping as she fell backwards.
However, the rest of the Kiwis did not reflect the same spirit as New Zealand put down three catches during the innings even as the bowlers did well to pull back the contest in the middle overs, picking up three quick wicket.
Nevertheless, a spirited cameo from Rachael Haynes with 29 not out allowed Australia to get up to a respectable total despite Kasperek picking up three wickets.
In the chase, the White Ferns were dismantled early on and reduced to 13-3 at the end of the fourth over but Bates carried on to keep her side in the hunt at 31-3 at the end of the six-over powerplay.
Bates and 33 year old Katey Martin shared in a 66-run partnership for the fourth wicket, taking the fight to the three-time champions, especially Ellyse Perry who was struck for three boundaries in the 10th over, carrying New Zealand to 67-3 at the halfway stage.
But Australia got back into the contest as 19-year-old leg break bowler, Georgia Wareham tossed up and dragged Martin out of her crease with Healy executing the stumping and sending her opposite number packing for 24.
Despite the wicket, the Kiwis took 13 runs from that over as they carried on to bring up their hundred in the 15th over.
Bates, the most prolific run getter in the format for women looked to steal the match for her side but a quicker ball to the advancing Kiwi saw her being given leg before wicket to Gardner, two runs short of her fifty which was laced with four fours and one six.
With Bates back in the shed, the Aussies piled on the pressure with the seamers, tearing through the lower order.