Captain Meg Lanning scored an unbeaten century in a record run chase as the Australian women’s cricket team beat New Zealand by four wickets to seal the Rose Bowl.
The Aussie women are now within a single victory of Ricky Ponting’s ODI team’s world-record streak.
On her much-loved Allan Border Field deck, Lanning clubbed a boundary to bring up her 14th one-day century and pass New Zealand’s target of 252 as the Aussies, on Monday, notched their 20th consecutive win.
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Lanning salutes her teammates after another incredible knock. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
The Aussies are now just one win short of the world record set by the Australian men’s team 17 years ago and have the chance to equal that mark in the final match of the series, again at Allan Border Field, Wednesday.
Needing a record run chase — the Aussies’ previous best was 229 in 2017 against England — Lanning and Co looked to be cruising to a comfortable win when she and Rachael Haynes put on 117 for the second wicket.
Compounding the visitors’ issues, key strike bowler Lea Tahuhu suffered a back strain and was forced from the field 13 overs into the defence.
When Haynes departed, the Kiwis made inroads into the middle order, Amelia Kerr ripping through with three wickets — including Sophie Molineux and Ash Gardner off consecutive balls — leaving the Aussies suddenly looking shaky.
But, in just her second match, young gun Annabel Sutherland steadied the ship with Lanning, taking Australia within eight runs of victory before departing for 17.
Lanning blasted the hapless New Zealand bowling attack all over Allan Border Field. Picture: AFPSource:AFP
CLOSING IN ON HISTORY
The Australians can equal the world-record streak with victory in the final match of the Rose Bowl series on Wednesday and, while they are aware of the mark, Lanning said it would be like any other game.
“We go out to win every game that we play and it’ll be no different on Wednesday,” she said.
“We haven’t spoken about the record as a group. Obviously we’re aware of it, it’s been in the media and spoken about a fair bit and it’s a nice position to be in.
“Hopefully we can finish off the series well, we’ve been able to do that well over the past three years and not let sides back in, so we’ll certainly be looking to do that on Wednesday.”
Lanning tweaked her hamstring early in the run chase on Monday while batting with Haynes but said it would not prevent her from playing on Wednesday.
Beth Mooney congratulates Meg Lanning on reaching her half century. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
With countrywoman Suzie Bates ruled out of the remainder of the series after injuring her shoulder in Saturday’s clash, Kiwi captain Sophie Devine opened the batting and put the White Ferns in a strong position, enjoying after half-century partnerships with both Natalie Dodd (34 off 59) and Amy Satterthwaite (69 off 73).
Devine brought up her 50 off 67 balls and pushed on to record a career high against Australia, falling for 79 (115) after attempting to play across the line against Jess Jonassen, her top edge popping up to Haynes for a simple catch.
NZ superstar Sophie Devine gave the Aussie bowlers plenty of stick. Picture: AFPSource:AFP
Devine’s innings set the platform to allow the Kiwis to swing freely late and push past 250.
The Kiwi all-rounder then made an impact with the ball, snaring the key wickets of Alyssa Healy and Haynes.
“It’s a funny one, it was a pleasing day for me personally but it doesn’t really mean anything when you can’t help the team get over the line,” Devine said.
“Me and Nat Dodd had a great start at the top of the order and she’s shown that she’s class there, so I was really happy with the start we had and we laid a great platform to come in and finish the job off.
“I thought 250 was a winning score, with the ball we just didn’t stay at it long enough.”
JONASSEN’S LATE HAUL
Jonassen and her fellow spinners dominated the White Ferns in the opening match of the series on Saturday but it was not until late in the innings that the Queensland left-arm orthodox made her mark.
It was Jonassen that broke through to claim the crucial wicket of Devine in the 39th over, ending a 93-run partnership.
She then finished her spell with a flurry, claiming three wickets in her final over to finish with the best of the bowling figures at 4-36.
Jonassen’s triple was followed by two wickets from Megan Schutt in the 50th over, New Zealand losing 4-2 to limp back to the dressing room without a yelp.
Jess Jonassen celebrates the wicket of New Zealand’s Hayley Jensen with teammate Alyssa Healy. Picture: AFPSource:AFP
New Zealand 9-252 (50) — Devine 79 (115), Satterthwaite 69 (73), Jonassen 4-36 (10)
Australia 6-255 (44.1) — Lanning 101* (96), Haynes 82 (89), Kerr 3-47 (10)
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Originally published asMarvellous Meg’s ton edges Aussies closer to record
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