Let's do it again tomorrow
Sophie Devine is talking. She laments her side letting it slip with the ball, and ultimately letting the chase get away from them with the bat. But they get to go again tomorrow in the second T20. Meg Lanning’s turn. “I thought we fought really nicely with the bat; Ash Gardner was excellent.” She goes on to note that they had the luxury of knowing what would work with the ball having batted on it earlier.
And on that note, I’ll sign off for now. Thank for your company. I’ll be back with you at the same time tomorrow for the second T20 International from Brisbane. Bye!
Ash Gardner is player of the match
For her 61 in 41 balls, the defining innings on a tacky pitch, doing the job after Australia were in a degree of trouble at 82/5. What a cricketer she is.
AUSTRALIA WIN BY 17 RUNS
20th over: New Zealand 121-7 (Down 6, Perkins 0) Target 139. Schutt finishes with 4/23, the hosts easy victors in defence of 138. An outstanding job with the ball.
WICKET! Jensen c Gardner b Schutt 4 (New Zealand 116-7)
Make that four! Jensen holes out to Gardner, running in off the rope at midwicket. With two balls to go, Schutt has the chance to take a five-for in a two-over spell!
WICKET! Kerr c b Schutt 5 (New Zealand 115-6)
Schutt gets a third to start the final over. Kerr worked across her stumps to try and lift over short-fine - one of her most productive strokes - but picks out Carey on the edge of the circle. That’s actually three wickets in six balls for the seamer.
19th over: New Zealand 115-5 (Kerr 5, Jensen 4) Target 139. Kimmince to bowl the penultimate over, the White Ferns needing 33 from 12. Jensen manages to lift her over mid-off for four but that’s the only boundary; nine off the over. This leaves a most-unlikely 24 to win for New Zealand from the final six balls of the match.
18th over: New Zealand 106-5 (Kerr 1, Jensen 0) Target 139. Two wickets for two runs, removing the two set New Zealand batters. Megan Schutt, what a star. If you want to learn more about the Aussie swice ace, we spoke to her during lockdown.
WICKET! Bates c b Schutt 33 (New Zealand 105-5)
Quite brilliant, modern bowling from Schutt. After earning one wicket with her slower ball she stuck with the same plan to Bates, who swung and missed twice before miscuing to Mooney at mid-off. This is the over that wins it for the hosts.
WICKET! Martin c Lanning b Schutt 21 (New Zealand 105-4)
So skilful from Schutt, banging her slower ball into the pitch, Martin unable to lift it over Lanning at cover point on the edge of the fielding circle.
17th over: New Zealand 104-3 (Bates 32, Martin 21) Target 139. Clever from Martin! On two occasions she jumps across her stumps to open up the legside over the top of short fine, twice placing it well enough to find the rope. How will Jonassen respond? With a delivery speered in at about fifth stump - smart stuff. One to come, Bates retaining the strike with a shovel out to midwicket. 11 off the over keeps New Zealand in it. They now need 35 from 18 balls. Schutt and Kimmince from here?
16th over: New Zealand 93-3 (Bates 30, Martin 12) Target 139. Molineux gets through her final over without conceding a boundary, seven taken to the sweepers as she made life as difficult as possible from wide of the crease to the right-handers trying to free their arms. We’re up at two runs a ball for the White Ferns now.
15th over: New Zealand 86-3 (Bates 26, Martin 11) Target 139. Martin’s turn to begin, her edge running away for four. They all count. But that doesn’t mean a big over, Kimmince such an expert at this stage of an innings, her yorker to finish a beauty. Five to go and Lanning has plenty of options having used seven bowlers. New Zealand still need to go at just under 11 runs an over to salute. It’s a big ask.
14th over: New Zealand 78-3 (Bates 24, Martin 5) Target 139. Bates keeps them in it, the required 11 an over achieved with a blistering pull shot to finish Wareham’s over. Earlier, Nic Carey had the chance to take a classic catch running back with the flight when Martin miscued, but it wasn’t to be. Bates has to keep pushing hard.
13th over: New Zealand 67-3 (Bates 19, Martin 1) Target 139. The ever-reliable Jess Jonassen. That’s three overs 1/3 for Australia’s principal tweaker, giving up just three singles after collecting the wicket of Satterthwaite. New Zealand have a lot of work to do from here and Bates is yet to get on top of the bowling.
WICKET! Satterthwaite c Healy b Jonassen 9 (New Zealand 65-3)
Brilliant from Healy! Satterthwaite was down to reverse sweep, edging from that posture, but the Australian superstar stump held her shape and, as a result, was able to hold onto the ball when it cannoned into her chest. What a star.
12th over: New Zealand 64-2 (Bates 17, Satterthewaite 9) Target 139. I neglected to mention that this is Amy Satterthwaite’s first game for New Zealand since March 2019, giving birth just before the T20 World Cup in January. Sophie Devine raises that point on telly, interviewed after her dismissal. She doesn’t say that she was unlucky to be given out but doesn’t enthusiastically support the decision, either. Well answered. Six runs from the over, no boundaries; a free hit that isn’t taken advantage of. Is this going to ther wire or are New Zealand going to fall well short?
11th over: New Zealand 58-2 (Bates 15, Satterthewaite 6) Target 139. Nice feet from Bates, dancing at Molineux before clipping her over midwicket for four. From there, three further singles. Nice work from around the wicket. New Zealand need exactly nine runs an over to win from here with seamer Nic Carey coming into the attack.
10th over: New Zealand 51-2 (Bates 9, Satterthewaite 5) Target 139. At halfway, Satterthwaite keeps New Zealand moving in the right direction with a well-struck swept four off Gardner’s off-spin. Time for them to try and take down a bowler?
9th over: New Zealand 43-2 (Bates 7, Satterthewaite 0) Target 139. Watching that back many times, how has he given that out? I appreciate benefit-of-the-doubt is dead, but surely the third umpire requires conclusive evidence to give a player out?
WICKET! Devine st Healy b Kimmince 29 (New Zealand 43-2)
She’s given by the third umpire! There was barely a frame in; I’m surprised he has given that out, but she’s gone. Healy, as ever, brilliant with the take, waiting until the foot dragged before taking the bails at just the right moment. A huge moment.
HAS HEALY STUMPED DEVINE? Brilliant gloves down the legside. We go upstairs.
8th over: New Zealand 39-1 (Devine 28, Bates 4) Target 139. Wareham’s first over and the legspinner is giving the Kiwi duo very little to work with, just four singles. That’s what she does best, plenty over overspin angling in at the stumps.
7th over: New Zealand 35-1 (Devine 26, Bates 2) Target 139. As is the custom, the field goes out and the bowling team has a good over - just three singles off Molineux. Although, the way Devine hits, it seldom matters when the fielders are.
6th over: New Zealand 32-1 (Devine 25, Bates 0) Target 139. Jonassen is given the unenviable task of bowling to Devine during the final over of fielding restictions and is crunched through extra cover early in the set - what a game the New Zealand captain is having, picking up three wickets earlier. To the left-armer tweaker’s immense credit, she doesn’t give the powerhitter a sniff thereafter, finishing the power play with four dots. The White Ferns need about eight an over from here.
5th over: New Zealand 28-1 (Devine 21, Bates 0) Target 139. Forever the New Zealand engine room, Bates joins Devine. Can they break the back of this?
WICKET! Green c Schutt b Kimmince 5 (New Zealand 27-1)
How often does Delissa Kimmince come into the attack and take a wicket straight away? Once again here, winning a high leading edge from Green, taken by Schutt at midwicket. As Mel Jones says on telly, this tacky pitch will suit the clever seamer.
4th over: New Zealand 24-0 (Devine 19, Green 4) Target 139. Schutt oversteps, giving Devine a free-hit. Uh oh! And yes, she nails it, over long on for New Zealand’s first SIX of their chase. As the TV reminds me, she had the best WBBL season on record last year, clocking an astonishing 769 runs in the competition. Ten off it.
3rd over: New Zealand 14-0 (Devine 12, Green 2) Target 139. The plan for Molineux to follow Jonassen and squeeze out another over of spin in during the power play worked until giving Devine a ball to free her arms at, cutting a second four.
2nd over: New Zealand 7-0 (Devine 6, Green 1) Target 139. A most tidy start for Australia and Jess Jonassen, the left-arm spinner conceding just two singles.
1st over: New Zealand 5-0 (Devine 5, Green 0) Target 139. A very-Covid delay after a couple of balls, Sophie Devine having to take the earpiece she had fitted by their media manager when fielding because she could hear the TV commentary! Brilliant. Back to the action and doing what she’s always done best, finding the boundary, with a compact cut behind point. We say it so often, but if Devine fires, they win.
The players are back on the field. Devine and Green to open for New Zealand; Schutt has the ball in her hand for Australia, defending 138. PLAY!
Australia got away from them at the end. When you consider that the hosts were 83/5 after 14 overs and 93/5 after 16, the White Ferns will be unhappy to have given up 45 runs in the final four. But that’s Ash Gardner for you - a true game-changer with the way she can so easily clear the rope with her combination of power and timing. Because of her 61 from 41, we reach halfway with this game nicely placed.
AUSTRALIA FINISH ON 138-6
20th over: Australia 138-6 (Carey 7, Wareham 9) Runs coming from the first five balls off the savvy Devine - mixing up her length and pace - but no boundaries. Wareham ensures Australia do finish on a high note though, making room before slapping over mid-off to get 10 off the final over and setting New Zealand 139.
19th over: Australia 128-6 (Carey 5, Wareham 1) That bowling change really did the trick, Gardner gone from the second ball of the 19th over and just two singles coming from the final four deliveries of it. Devine, with 3/9, to bowl over 20.
WICKET! Gardner c Satterthwaite b Bates 61 (Australia 126-6)
Bates into the attack for her first over, and it works! Gardner smashed her away to cover first ball but popped the second offering, a slower ball, down the throat of Satterthwaite at deep midwicket, making no mistake. The end of a fantastic hand, Gardner smashing 61 from 41 balls; finding the rope six times and clearing it thrice.
Ash Gardner to 50!
18th over: Australia 122-5 (Gardner 57, Carey 4) What a shot from Gardner to move to 50, over cover inside-out and holding the pose. Delightful batting, bringing up the milestone in just 37 deliveries. And four more straight away, carving out behind point, just out of reach of the fielder stationed there. 13 off it, making 29 from the last 12 balls. This pair have put on 40 from 29, almost all via the Aussie No5.
17th over: Australia 109-5 (Gardner 45, Carey 3) For the second time, Gardner gets undernearth Kerr with a short-arm jab but the elevation, power and timing are more than enough for her to clear the boundary FOR SIX! AND AGAIN with an identical shot; two in a row to move into the 40s. Can she do it again to finish? Not to be, but she gets down the other end and retains the strike for over 18. That’ll do. 16 from the over. I thought 140 was off the cards, well, ignore that.
16th over: Australia 93-5 (Gardner 31, Carey 2) Forget 140, that’s not happening after Mair gets through her set conceding just a couple of singles to the legside, Carey batting to turn ther strike over early in her innings - she’s two from six. Mair finishes with 1/22 from her four, picking up the early wicket of Mooney. Well done.
15th over: Australia 91-5 (Gardner 30, Carey 1) Tahuhu continues for the White Ferns - makes sense, given the wickets column. But it doesn’t quite work, Gardner hitting with the wind over midwicket to finish, making solid enough contact to clear the rope for Australia’s first SIX of the day. Five overs to go... 140 the aim?
14th over: Australia 83-5 (Gardner 23, Carey 0) Devine was convinced she had three in the over having won Carey’s outside edge. And I tell you what, it’s difficult to understand how that’s been given not out watching the replay - the noise was loud. Perhaps the strong wind meant it wasn’t heard? That’s the best guess of the commentators on telly. No DRS in this series. Devine has 3/8 with an over to go.
WICKET! Molineux c Bates b Devine 0 (Australia 82-5)
Molineux is out second ball; Devine has two in the over! That wasn’t much of a shot, the Victorian trying to loft her over mid-off but not clearing the fielding circle.
WICKET! Haynes c Kerr b Devine 23 (Australia 81-4)
Just when this partnership was getting dangerous, New Zealand have broken it! Sure enough, it’s the captain Devine winning the big top edge out to midwicket, taken safely by Kerr who had wait under the ball for a fair while in the wind.
13th over: Australia 81-3 (Haynes 23, Gardner 21) Eight more here after Gardner backs herself to to take Kerr with the spin up and over cover, clearing the fielder on the circle and earning a boundary for taking the risk. The stand is now 35 from 28.
12th over: Australia 73-3 (Haynes 22, Gardner 14) Mair can’t give Haynes something outside leg stump, tucked away with ease given fine leg is inside the circle. With risk-free singles from every other ball, and a wide in there too, this becomes the best Australian over so far, with ten taken from it. The foundation looks to be laid.
“Hey Adam.” Hello, Tanya Wintringham. “Am half way through the new pod and it’s a beautiful tribute to Deano. You and Geoff have written great pieces over the last couple of days about him. You must be shattered - I can’t believe you’re live-blogging this as well as everything else.” Thank you. He was so important.
“As I was listening to the pod I was wondering who my Deano equivalent was (I have about ten to twelve years on you I think) and the best I could come up with was Martin Crowe - completely different from what came before, spectacularly talented but not always consistent, always thinking about the game and always his own person, for good or ill. It broke my heart when his cancer became terminal and he died a few months or so later. It’s great to have cricket on the telly again here - New Zealand cricket in their wisdom has split the broadcasting rights so anyone who wants to watch New Zealand teams play has to have both a Sky tv sub and a Spark Sports sub (online only). Sigh. Anyway - I hope you have had a chance to see your girls and Winnie continues to bring you and Rach joy.”
Martin Crowe, another fine childhood hero right there. And thanks too for the kind wishes on the family front; I enjoy how baby Winnie (7.5 months now!) has been such such a point of interest and care from OBOers around the world. She’s a joy.
11th over: Australia 63-3 (Haynes 16, Gardner 11) Jensen returns for her second over and Gardner doesn’t mind that, smashing the seamer through cover for her second boundary. Good early signs for one of the hardest hitters in the game. She then retains strike with a controlled single down the ground - good batting, that. Meanwhile, Haynes, is ticking over nicely too, up to 16 from 13 deliveries.
10th over: Australia 56-3 (Haynes 15, Gardner 5) Kerr has started well here, banking up three dots in a row to Gardner in this her second over before the new batter to the crease lifts her out to the sweeper at backward square leg. Haynes finishes with a boundary though, beating Satterthwaite at deep square leg with a well-timed sweep shot, making contact with the ball with one hand off the bat.
9th over: Australia 50-3 (Haynes 10, Gardner 4) It is Gardner in at No5 and she’s off the mark with a cut boundary first ball. Lanning also found the rope, out at midwicket, before falling. Eight runs then, but that all-important wicket too.
WICKET! Lanning c Martin b Tahuhu 24 (Australia 46-3)
Tahuhu wins a little feather from Lanning! In that channel outside the off-stump, the skipper pushed forward but played the wrong line, taken by the ‘keeper. Another big moment early on here, the No3 joining Healy and Mooney back in the sheds. Will Gardner come in now as named, or will they hold her back?
8th over: Australia 42-2 (Lanning 20, Haynes 10) Amelia Kerr, one of the most compelling bowlers in the modern game, to send down her first over of wrist-spin. She turns it a mile and can get it going both ways. Lanning and Haynes play her watchfully to begin her spell here, collecting five risk-free runs to the sweepers.
7th over: Australia 37-2 (Lanning 16, Haynes 9) Sure enough, the first over after the power play is a tidy one - so often the case in T20 cricket when the field goes out. Sophie Devine has 1/6 from her two overs so far. And now it’s time for spin.
6th over: Australia 33-2 (Lanning 14, Haynes 7) Edge, four! Had this been a red-ball fixture, Haynes would have been in strife there - a nice catchable height - but instead it runs away to the rope. But just three further singles from the Mair over to complete a power play the visitors will be most pleased with.
An important moment before the game, detailed by Dan Brettig over at Cricinfo.
5th over: Australia 26-2 (Lanning 12, Haynes 1) Haynes and Lanning know all about patch-up jobs, and they’re going to have to draw on that experience now with both of Australia’s dependable openers gone inside five overs. The left-hander is off the mark with a nice little steer but just two runs off Devine, the wicket too. Excellent.
WICKET! Healy c Bates b Devine 6 (Australia 25-2)
Here come the White Ferns! Devine brings herself into the attack and is into the book in the best possible way by winning a poor shot from Healy, nursing a short ball out towards cover, into the safe hands of Suzie Bates. That’s big.
4th over: Australia 24-1 (Healy 6, Lanning 12) Oooh, you cannot put down Meg Lanning early on and that’s precisely what Perkins has done at cover. It was an off-pace deliver from Jensen, the Aussie superstar playing a fraction early - spitting away from the outside slither of her blade - but the low chance wasn’t pouched. Sure enough, Healy punched the bruise later in the over to strike her first boundary, clipping up and over square leg into the gap without any risk at all. Shot.
3rd over: Australia 18-1 (Healy 2, Lanning 11) The Australian skipper is out of the blocks, taking advantage of Tahuhu’s extra bounce to pull her with authority out to the rope then clipping the next delivery through midwicket - back to back fours.
2nd over: Australia 7-1 (Healy 2, Lanning 0) Mair isn’t quite on the money to Lanning to begin after picking up Mooney mid-over, spraying down leg then letting her get off strike via a leg bye, but a successful over is a successful over.
WICKET! Mooney c Green b Mair 2 (Australia 5-1)
Mooney tries to go over cover but picks out Green inside the circle! That’s a huge breakthrough for the visitors, getting rid of the No1 ranked player in the world.
1st over: Australia 3-0 (Healy 1, Mooney 1) Good start from Tahuhu, getting through the first power play over conceding just a couple of singles - Healy with a clip, then Mooney a steer. She pushed one down the legside too, but just three runs off it.
We are away. Lea Tahuhu to bowl the first over, Alyssa Healy there with Beth Mooney - the best opening partnership in the world. Buckle up! PLAY!
National Anthems following the Dean Jones tribute on the field. God Defend New Zealand to begin - what a tune. It’s wonderful to see some fans permitted in the ground today as well, now belting out Advance Australia Fair. We’re ready to roll.
“This is the moment we have been waiting six months for,” says Sophie Devine at the toss (which we are seeing now that the broadcast has started on telly in the UK). Meg Lanning is asked if there are any changes to the team that won the World Cup and, in her own blunt style, encourages us to read her team sheet. She did confirm that Ellyse Perry, who suffered a serious shoulder injury against New Zeland in that tournament, wiping her out of the semi and the final, is not yet ready for action.
As we wait for play to begin, check out our columnist Megan Schutt’s thoughts on returning to the game after months away, albeit without saliva on the ball.
New Zealand: Suzie Bates, Sophie Devine (c), Maddy Green, Amy Satterthwaite, Katey Martin (wk), Amelia Kerr, Hayley Jensen, Lauren Down, Katie Perkins, Rosemary Mair, Lea Tahuhu.
Lauren Down, an experienced right-handed batter, gets an opportunity to take on the best attack the world after missing out during the World Cup.
Australia: Alyssa Healy (wk), Beth Mooney, Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes, Ash Gardner, Sophie Molineux, Nicola Carey, Jess Jonassen, Georgia Wareham, Megan Schutt, Delissa Kimmince.
So, an unchanged XI to the team that won the World Cup Final. Consistent as ever.
New Zealand win the toss; Australia to bat
Teams as named in a tick.
Hello and welcome to the First T20 International between Australia and New Zealand! It feels so good to say that after women’s cricket went into hibernation to a far more acute extent than it was for the men when Covid-19 really let rip just days after the momentous World Cup Final at the MCG on the 8th of March - International Women’s Day - with some 87,000 spectators in attendance.
But after so much bad news, so many tours cancelled, these old Trans -Tasman rivals are preparing to take each other on six times in the space of a couple of weeks to start the southern domestic summer, coincidentally on the afternoon that the AFL Grand Final would have been held had the world not changed so dramatically.
We are about seven minutes from the toss at Allan Border Field with Meg Lanning and Sophie Devine leading the hosts and visitors respectively. Of course, the last time they met in this format was during that World Cup in what was effectively a quarter-final at Junction Oval in Melbourne, Australia convincing winners as they belatedly got their act together before going on to win it all six night later.