Australia began their ODI series against New Zealand at Mount Maunganui with a resounding victory against the hosts. The game, held on 4th April 2021, will be forever recorded in cricket history as the one where the Australian women’s team set a new record of the most consecutive ODI wins in cricket, eclipsing the record of 21 consecutive wins set by Australian men’s team under Ricky Ponting in the year 2003. By beating New Zealand, the Australian women’s team extended their winning run to 22 games and became the team to register the most wins in ODI across men’s and women’s games – a feat that all women could be proud of.
The Australian team, both men and women, have always been a formidable team in cricket. They have a great talent pool and play with a lot of professionalism. They are also hungry for success. These qualities are the ones that enabled the side, led by Meg Lanning, to become one of the most dominating women’s teams of the recent past. Just like her male counterpart Ricky Ponting, Meg Lanning leads by example and has performed consistently, which allows the players to give in their best also. Their squad comprises of the powerful Alyssa Healy (the wicket-keeper sharing lineage with another Australian great Ian Healy), and the all-rounders Ellyse Perry, Ashleigh Gardner, and Jess Jonassen supporting the batters like Nicole Bolton, Beth Mooney, and Rachel Haynes, and bowlers like Megan Schutt, Sophie Molineux, and Nicola Carey alike. Add newcomers like Tayla Vlaeminck and you have a truly impressive team that anyone would fear.
After a crushing defeat against India in the semi-finals in the 2017 World Cup, the team had enough to defeat England 2-1 in the Ashes that same year. Then in 2018, they opened the year with their tour of India where they won all the 3 games thus beginning their undefeated run that continues to this day. They have been undefeated in this format during these 3 years, playing against teams like England, New Zealand, India, West Indies, South Africa, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. In this article, we cover their run of 22 wins on-the-trot which would go on to eclipse the Australian men’s team record of 21 wins.
Win #1 (India Vs Australia, 2018): The winning run began 3 years ago in India at the First ODI between Australia and India at Vadodra. Set a target of a meagre 201 with a four-for by Jess Jonassen, Australia romped home in just 32.1 overs with the help of Nicole Bolton’s unbeaten century in 101 balls.
Win #2 (India Vs Australia, 2018): The second ODI between the 2 sides saw Australia dominate again as they set India a challenging 285 runs for victory, thanks again to Nicole Bolton’s 88-ball 84 and the firepower provided by Ellyse Perry’s run-a-ball 70 and another 56 off 40 balls by Beth Mooney. India could only muster 227 as they lost by 60 runs, Jess Jonassen again picking up three wickets.
Win #3 (India Vs Australia, 2018): The third ODI was another dominating performance set up by the strong wicket-keeper batter Alyssa Healy, who scored 133 off 115 balls. The middle-order then ransacked 97 runs in the last 10 overs to carry them to an imposing total of 332/7 in their 50 overs. India could again get to only 235 before being all out as Australia completed their whitewash against India, winning by 97 runs.
Win #4: (Pakistan Vs Australia, 2018): Their next assignment was against Pakistan in October that year. With Pakistan still not hosting international cricket matches, the two teams faced each other in Malaysia. In a rain-affected first ODI, they dismissed Pakistan for 95 runs with 3 wickets apiece for Megan Schutt and Nicola Carey and endured a mini-collapse, with Rachel Haynes 24 guiding them home in the end.
Win #5 (Pakistan Vs Australia, 2018): In the second game, Meg Lanning led from the front, scoring 124 runs from 106 deliveries. Her stand of 181 runs with Rachel Haynes 82-ball 79, helped Australia post 273/7 in their 50 overs. The Pakistan batters were no match for Sophie Molineux, who claimed 4/14 to dismiss them for just 123 runs. Australia won the game by a convincing 150 runs and took the series.
Win #6 (Pakistan Vs Australia, 2018): Australia ended the series against Pakistan with another powerful batting display. Alyssa Healy’s knock of 97 off just 75 balls set the tone of the innings before Ashleigh Gardner ended it with a flourish, scoring 62 runs off only 37 balls to set up an imposing target of 325. Ashleigh Gardner came back to take three wickets to add to her runs as they restricted Pakistan to 235/7 in their 50 overs, winning the game by 89 runs.
Win #7 (Australia Vs New Zealand, 2019): The following year, New Zealand toured Australia for a limited-overs series comprising of ODIs and T20Is. The first of the ODIs was a close one, with Australia being dismissed for 241 runs. However, Jess Jonassen’s four-for won the game for Australia in spite of White Ferns’ captain’s knock of 92 runs. Needing 18 off the last over, New Zealand could only muster 12 as Australia won a tense game by 5 runs.
Win #8 (Australia Vs New Zealand, 2019): The second game of the series saw Australia again being restricted to a middling score of 247/7 in their 50 overs on the back of Ellyse Perry’s knock of 107 off 110 balls. However, Jess Jonassen again put up an impressive performance to claim 5 wickets for just 27 runs as Australia rolled over New Zealand for 152 runs, winning the game by 95 runs.
Win #9 (Australia Vs New Zealand, 2019): New Zealand batted first this time and ended up scoring 231/8 in their allotted overs. Both Australian openers scored 46 runs each before Ellyse Perry’s half-century sealed the chase in the 48th over. Meg Lanning scored 48 as well before being dismissed. Australia won the game by 7 wickets to take another series 3-0.
Win #10 (The Ashes, 2019): Australia capped off their 10th straight win in the first game of the ODI leg of the Ashes in England in July 2019. After dismissing the hosts for 177 runs, Alyssa Healy’s 66 runs off 71 balls kept Australia in the game in spite of wickets falling regularly at the other end. In the end, Australia got home with 2 wickets to spare.
Win #11 (The Ashes, 2019): In the second game of the ODI leg, Delissa Kimmince picked up a five-for as Australia restricted England for just 217 in their 50 overs. Australia kept on losing wickets regularly in reply but Ellyse Perry’s 62 off 79 balls and Beth Mooney’s 43 off 50 balls guided Australia home. Australia won the game by 4 wickets and took the ODI series.
Win #12 (The Ashes, 2019): The third ODI was a memorable one for Ellyse Perry. Australia was put in to bat and Meg Lanning and Alyssa Healy scored 69 and 68 respectively to build a strong foundation for their side. They ended up scoring 269/7 in their 50 overs. Then, Ellyse Perry’s golden arm accounted for 7 of England’s wickets, conceding only 22 runs, in what remains as her best bowling analysis till date. She single-handedly routed the England side for 75 runs as Australia won by a scarcely believable 194 runs.
Win #13 (West Indies Vs Australia, 2019): The Australian women continued their winning streak in a dominating fashion in their tour of West Indies that followed. Australian captain Meg Lanning and Alyssa Healy made 121 and 122 respectively as they piled on the runs with a second wicket partnership of 225 runs, eventually reaching a daunting 308/4 in their 50 overs. Ellyse Perry returned figures of 3 wickets for just 17 runs as they rolled over West Indies for 130 all out winning by a massive 178 runs.
Win #14 (West Indies Vs Australia, 2019): In what was essentially a repeat of the previous performance, Ellyse Perry’s century and half-centuries by Beth Mooney and Ashleigh Gardner propped Australia to 308/2 in their 50 overs. The bowlers again restricted West Indies to a paltry 157/8 in their allotted overs as Australia won the game by 151 runs to claim the series.
Win #15 (West Indies Vs Australia, 2019): Australia completed another series sweep in the third ODI, this time batting second. After the Australian bowlers put on another impressive performance to dismiss the hosts for 180, Alyssa Healy stormed to a 32-ball 61 and Meg Lanning also scored a half-century as they eased home with 8 wickets and just under 19 overs to spare. Australia had completed their fifth consecutive series sweep as they took the series 3-0.
Win #16 (Australia Vs Sri Lanka, 2019): Australia returned to host Sri Lanka in late-2019 in what was another dominant display by the hosts. Meg Lanning won the toss and chose to bat first, scoring 73 off 66 deliveries. Beth Mooney and Rachel Haynes also posted half-centuries as Australia reached 281/8 in their 50 overs. The bowlers continued their dominant display, skittling out Sri Lanka for just 124 runs and winning the game by 157 runs.
Win #17 (Australia Vs Sri Lanka, 2019): The second ODI was a repeat performance of the first, with Australia again winning the toss and electing to bat first. The openers put on a century stand with Alyssa Healy scoring a half-century before Rachel Haynes scored a century and Meg Lanning contributed 45 off 62 balls to help Australia reach 282/4 in their 50 overs. Then, Jess Jonassen picked up 4 wickets for just 31 runs to restrict Sri Lanka to 172/9, handling Australian the game by 110 runs.
Win #18 (Australia Vs Sri Lanka, 2019): In the final ODI of the series, Sri Lanka won the toss and chose to bat first. Chamari Attapattu scored an international century but they lost regular wickets at the other end and posted only 195/8 in their 50 overs. Australia replied with Alyssa Healy scoring a 76-ball 112 and Rachel Haynes scored 63 off 74 balls as they put on a 159-run opening stand to help reach the target with 23 overs to spare and winning yet another series 3-0.
Win #19 (Australia Vs New Zealand, 2020): The next ODI series came after a gap of a year thanks to the pandemic. In the first ODI of the trans-Tasman series in Australia, New Zealand could only manage 180 before being dismissed in the last over. Meg Lanning led a strong reply with a well-compiled 62 off 70 deliveries along with Rachel Haynes’ 44 of 62 balls to chase down the target in the 34th over of the innings.
Win #20 (Australia Vs New Zealand, 2020): The 20th consecutive ODI victories by Australia came on home soil during the New Zealand tour of Australia as New Zealand posted 252/9 in their 50 overs. Jess Jonassen took 4 wickets for Australia. Meg Lanning (101*) and Rachel Haynes (82) were in the thick of things again as they combined for a 117-run stand to get them home and win the series at the earliest opportunity.
Win #21 (Australia Vs New Zealand, 2020): With Rachel Haynes captaining Australia in place of their regular captain Meg Lanning, Australia piled on the runs in the first innings with a 144-run opening stand between the stand-in captain and Alyssa Healy. They made 96 and 87 respectively as Australia posted a strong 325/5 in their 50 overs. New Zealand were routed for 93 in reply, with Australia winning the game by 232 runs and winning yet another series 3-0. Their 21st consecutive win made them equal the record set by the men’s team in 2003.
Win #22 (New Zealand Vs Australia, 2021): In the first game of the return series between Australia and New Zealand in New Zealand, Australia women’s team created history by becoming the team with the most consecutive wins in ODI cricket, male or female. New Zealand were all out for 212 runs with Player-of-the-Match Megan Schutt picking up 4 wickets for 32 runs. With half-centuries by Alyssa Healy, Ellyse Perry and Ashleigh Gardner, Australia won the match comfortably.
What is staggering from the run of victories is that they have been indomitable across many countries and against many opponents. It wasn’t that most of the cricket was being played on home soil, they were comfortable throughout the world, irrespective of the conditions. Also, it is evident that although the captain played a big part in many of the wins, it wasn’t the case that the same players were performing again and again. Australia was firing as a unit with many players putting up their hands at crucial junctures. With this form and record that will be more and more difficult to achieve by other teams, we can safely say that Australia is unstoppable at the moment and in a position to stretch the record even further.
Good luck to all the teams – both men or women – looking to challenge this record but I will put my money on this Australian women’s side that are, though understated, look even better than the Australian Invincibles of 2003 at the moment.