The summer in Australia gets underway with the Southern Stars beating the White Ferns comfortably at the North Sydney Oval. The experienced duo of Meg Lanning and Rachael Haynes made sure that they cross the line.
Having asked to bat first in seam friendly conditions, the White Ferns didn’t had the best of the starts with Suzie Bates departing in the third over of the innings. Elysse Perry ripped through her legs on her very first ball of the summer. Soon in the 8th over,the debutant Georgia Wareham struck with a prized wicket of Watkin stumped by Alyssa Healy for 18. The newly appointed captain Amy Sattherthwaite too couldn’t cash on as she departed for 2(7). But Sophie Devine kept on scoring freely and compiled 43(33) before a good low catch by Beth Mooney ended her innings. The score at the halfway stage was 72-3.
But Katey Martin had other plans and scored a vital fifty for her country. She smashed the bowlers all around the park. She scored 56* off just 34 balls hitting 8 fours and 2 sixes. Bernadine Bezuidenhoute supported her by scoring 20*(13) with 1 four and 2 sixes. The White Ferns ended their innings with a score of 162-5 with 50 runs coming off last 5 overs. Ashleigh Gardner was the pick of the bowlers with 2 wickets in her 3 overs.
With 163 to chase down,the Southern Stars’ openers intentions were clear but lost their first wicket in the 2nd over. Beth Mooney finding long on, looking to clear the fence against Leigh Kasperek. In the 3rd over, Sophie Devine came into the attack and picked 2 big wickets of Alyssa Healy and Elyse Villani in the same over. In the last over of the powerplay, Ashleigh Gardner departed giving Kasperek her second wicket of the night. The score at the end of the powerplay was 50-4.
Having lost wickets, Meg Lanning and Rachael Haynes steadied the ship. At the end of the 10th over, the score was 81-4. This was the period when both the batters started accelerating and started to find the fence more often. They scored 51 in the next 5 overs needing only 31 from the remaining 5. Rachael Haynes brought her 2nd T20I fifty in just 30 balls. Meg Lanning too reached her fifty in 40 balls which was her 12th T20I fifty. Both remained not out till the end and crossed the line with 14 balls to spare. The duo recorded the highest 5th wicket partnership in T20Is. Sophie Devine and Leigh Kasperek both claimed 2 wickets each but couldn’t help their team win.
The Southern Stars’ unbeaten streak in T20Is at the North Sydney Oval continues. The White Ferns posted a good total on the board but their bowlers had an off-day resulting in the Southern Stars winning by 6 wickets. The 2nd T20I will be on 1st October in Brisbane where the White Ferns will look to stay alive in the series.
NZW- 162/5 in 20 overs
(Katey Martin 56*(34), Sophie Devine 43(33); Ashleigh Gardner 3-22, Ellyse Perry 1-26 ) lost to AUSW- 164/4 in 17.4 overs
(Rachael Haynes 69*(40), Meg Lanning 56*(44); Sophie Devine 2-31, Leigh Kasperek 2-28) by 6 wickets