That’s it from me. An important win from New Zealand, successfully getting to the finish line against the world champions. It wasn’t the most clinical chase but none of that matters now. And of course, they put in a a fine performance with the ball to make it possible. We’ll be back with the OBO for the first ODI on Saturday. Bye!
Ash Gardner is player of the series
The Australian all-rounder says the time away served her well during lockdown but coming back to quarantine ahead of this series, it was like she had never left. Sophie Devine’s turn to talk. “To finally do it on the park today, it was really well deserved. We are disappointed we couldn’t put the performances together earlier but it is good to have that confidence ahead of the one-dayers.” And Meg Lanning, the Australian skipper. “There’s lots to learn. We couldn’t continue the momentum we had but New Zealand are a great side; we expected them to fight back. We are looking forward to the ODIs.” Notes, as did Devine, that they are looking forward to the 50-over format of the game, especially the time it will afford the batters.
Amelia Kerr is player of the match.
To the ODIs! New Zealand have, at last, found a way to beat Australia again. It’s timely, because they have three ODIs coming up, starting on Saturday. Let’s hope this is the catalyst for a promotion up the order for Amelia Kerr, who has the potential to be a proper superstar. She is player of the match, speaking now.
“It was awesome to see Jess out there today,” she says of her sister. “It’s very special to be able to play out here with my sister.” Go you good thing!
NEW ZEALAND WIN BY FIVE WICKETS!
Amelia Kerr finishes it with another boundary, smashing Schutt through square leg to get the job done for the White Ferns. “Nerves of steel,” says Mel Jones of the New Zealand all-rounder. With wickets and runs, she’s won the game for the Kiwis.
19.3 overs: New Zealand 125-5 (Jensen 10*, A Kerr 18*) Target 124.
19.1: Jensen risks being run out at the non-strikers’ end but makes it.
19.2: Amelia Kerr! Down the ground, four runs! They need three from four.
19th over: New Zealand 116-5 (Jensen 9, A Kerr 10) Target 124. Shotttt! Amelia Kerr, just when they needed a boundary, nails Molineux through extra cover. She tries to go again from the following delivery but miscues into the deep at midwicket, lucky not to hole out. Eight off it, eight to win. Or seven for a Super Over. Here we go!
18th over: New Zealand 108-5 (Jensen 7, Kerr 4) Target 124. Edge, four! After five singles, Jensen concludes that she needs to take on Schutt’s last ball through the cordon for four. 16 from two overs needed, Molineux and Schutt the likely bowlers.
17th over: New Zealand 99-5 (Jensen 1, Kerr 1) Target 124. Jess Jonassen, what a star. Begins the defence with an over conceding one, comes back on for the 17th over to do so again, skittling the prospective matchwinner in the process.
WICKET! Satterthwaite b Jonassen 30 (New Zealand 98-5)
Jonassen bowls Satterthwaite! Trying to thrash through the legside, the left-hander’s inside edge ran back onto her middle stump. And just like that, two wickets in six balls, the White Ferns have given away their advantage.
16th over: New Zealand 98-4 (Satterthwaite 30, Jensen 1) Target 124. A wicket and just the four runs from the over. Well, then. 26 from 24 needed. Satterthwaite has been quiet since her three boundaries in quick succession earlier in her innings; she is crucial to New Zealand’s hopes from here. Jonassenm to bowl the 17th.
WICKET! Martin b Wareham 23 (New Zealand 96-4)
There it is! Wareham gets the breakthrough, as she does so often. She’s onto Martin a tad quicker than expected with a topspinner, casting the right-hander.
15th over: New Zealand 94-3 (Satterthwaite 28, Martin 22) Target 124. Perfect from Jonassen, two singles to bookend her over but nothing else, Martin finding it tough to work the probing spinner out to the sweepers. The 50-stand is up between this pair, which is on the cusp of being matchwinning for New Zealand. By contrast, Australia need a wicket; the hosts can’t do this unless they break the partnership.
14th over: New Zealand 92-3 (Satterthwaite 27, Martin 21) Target 124. There’s that calculated risk, and it works a treat! Martin, riding shotgun to the more assertive Satterthwaite to this point, smashes Molineux over midwicket for six after jumping down the track. A full-body commitment to the cause, nothing wrong with that. The partnership is now 48 from 36 balls - what Australia couldn’t do earlier.
13th over: New Zealand 81-3 (Satterthwaite 24, Martin 13) Target 124. Australia’s turn to push, via the seam of Carey. No boundaries but six singles, which works for New Zealand. They’re on top of this. Two more big overs and the back of the chase should be broken with the wickets in hand to take a calculated risk or two.
12th over: New Zealand 75-3 (Satterthwaite 21, Martin 10) Target 124. A boundary an over does the trick here, Satterthwaite again taking the ownership of that, rocking back to hammer Schutt through midwicket for four. Sure enough, the South Australian bounces back with a couple of dots. 49 from 48 is the new equation.
11th over: New Zealand 69-3 (Satterthwaite 16, Martin 9) Target 124. Fantastic batting, Amy Satterthwaite. Taking advantage of the medium pace of Kimmince, she steers her behind point for four then opens up the off-side to chip her over cover into the gap for a second four. Back-to-back double digit overs. Back on track.
10th over: New Zealand 58-3 (Satterthwaite 12, Martin 5) Target 124. Wareham again with singles to the sweepers until the final ball when Satterthwaite gets down low to pick the legspinner up through square leg for four. They needed that. Satterthwaite remains a class act, make no mistake. She needs to drive this chase.
9th over: New Zealand 49-3 (Satterthwaite 6, Martin 2) Target 124. Gardner into the attack for an over of her her-ripped off-spin and she’s through it in 90 seconds, conceding five runs. New Zealand need to consolidate with two new batters but they’ll need to do so quickly or this home attack with smother them with pressure.
WICKET! Bates run out [Haynes] 3 (New Zealand 44-3)
Bates takes on Haynes at cover and doesn’t survive to tell the tale, run out by 10cm at the non-strikers’ end. A brilliant bit of fielding, she does that so often. Devine and Bates gone in the same over, tough to see New Zealand winning from here.
8th over: New Zealand 44-3 (Satterthwaite 3) Target 124.
HAS BATES BEEN RUN OUT BY HAYNES AT THE NON-STRIKERS’ END? Oh dear.
WICKET! Devine st Healy b Wareham 20 (New Zealand 40-2)
Stumped by metres! Wareham gets the biggest wicket going, racing down and missing a ball that perhaps doesn’t bounce quite as much as she anticipated. Healy had all the time in the world to finish the job. Dare I say it, they’re in strife now.
7th over: New Zealand 38-1 (Devine 24, Bates 2) Target 124. The customary quiet seventh over after the field spreads, Carey giving the New Zealand pair very little. I wonder when a T20 team will go out of their way to always attack in the seventh?
6th over: New Zealand 34-1 (Devine 22, Bates 1) Target 124. Molineux again, starting with a wide to Bates. The former New Zealand captain is out of form, there’s no doubting this, but her class over a long period of time is also without question. Back over to Devine, who takes advantage of a legside delivery, helping it away for four. The visitors finish the power play needing 6.4 an over from here. Easy... right?
WICKET! Green c Gardner b Jonnasen b Kimmince 10 (New Zealand 27-1)
After carving Kimmince away for four earlier in the over, Green tried to finish it by popping her over the rope at midwicket but didn’t quite get the distance on the shot, taken well by Gardner racing to the drop of the ball. Bates to join Devine.
5th over: New Zealand 27-1 (Devine 17) Target 124.
4th over: New Zealand 20-0 (Devine 15, Green 5) Target 124. At last, some respite. Devine, sure enough, breaks the drought, sweeping Jonassen for SIX. They needed that - she needed that. If Devine is still batting in eight overs time, they win.
3rd over: New Zealand 9-0 (Devine 7, Green 2) Target 124. Now Molineux - five off. We’re halfway through the New Zealand power play and they are yet to hit a boundary. Are we going to look back on these opening overs as defining the match?
2nd over: New Zealand 4-0 (Devine 3, Green 1) Target 124. Schutt’s turn to squeeze - just three further singles. A good test for this Australian team to prove the working thesis that they can win (and beat New Zealand) from practically anywhere.
1st over: New Zealand 1-0 (Devine 1, Green 0) Target 124. Devine off the mark first ball but how often do we see this? Jonassen, five dots in a row, Green unable to get away. What a bowler the Australian tweaker is. Just the start they needed.
The players are back on the field. Jonassen to once again take the first over for Australia; Devine and Green opening up for the White Ferns. PLAY!
A fine job by New Zealand. As I said off the top, critically, they have lost their nerve against Australia in this format time and again. Well, they didn’t today. Most impressive: it was after a setback, dropping Lanning first ball. But instead of dropping their bundle, they went on to take wickets at important intervals; the biggest partnership for the home side was 27. They simply must chase this down.
AUSTRALIA FINISH ON 123-7
20th over: Australia 123-7 (Carey 10, Jonassen 6) Jonassen has a cool head, getting on her toes to pull Devine into the gap in front of square, getting four for it. She tries to do the same to finish but smashes it to the sweeper. Just seven from the final over, well bowled by the New Zealand skipper. They’ve done the job here, keeping Australia to their lowest first innings total in a T20 since 2016. The target is 124.
WICKET! Wareham c Bates b Tahuhu 11 (Australia 116-7)
Fantastic from Bates on the midwicket rope, Wareham skying a high catch in her direction, the New Zealand champion holding her nerve to take it over her left shoulder a metre inside the rope. It comes the ball after the Victorian crunched Tahuhu over midwicket for a handy boundary. But again, the wicket arrives at a handy time to dismiss an Australian just as they get going. Just one over to go!
19th over: Australia 116-7 (Carey 9)
18th over: Australia 108-6 (Carey 8, Wareham 4) Kerr to bowl her fourth over now, which might not have been the plan for the legspinner before the innings - to have her bowling at the death - but they have put themselves into a strong enough position to warrant it. And sure enough, it’s another very good one - just the six singles from it, the boundaries well protected. Kerr finishes with 2/18 after picking up the wickets of Haynes and Lanning to start her spell. Vital work for her skipper.
17th over: Australia 102-6 (Carey 5, Wareham 1) Ooh, Green finds a leading edge off Wareham but doesn’t quite go to hand. Still, another top over; the all-important wicket of Molineux and just two further singles from it. New Zealand now have to stick the landing over the last three overs with the ball. Don’t blow it!
WICKET! Molineux c & b Green 18 (Australia 100-6)
The pattern continues! Every time a partnership gathers stream, New Zealand break it. This time via Maddy Green, who takes a straightforward catch in her follow through off Molineux, who backed away to make room but miscued the slap.
16th over: Australia 100-5 (Molineux 18, Carey 4) The punchy over that Australia really needed to earn momentum in this final stretch, Molineux taking Jensen through the gap at cover - a super shot after making room in the crease - then pulling her through square leg for a second boundary. All told, 12 off it and 100 up.
15th over: Australia 88-5 (Molineux 9, Carey 2) Green on with her off-spin for the first time in the innings and it works a treat, just four singles taken. Five overs to go. Australia, from a very similar situation, made it to 138 on Saturday. But on that occasion, Gardner was still there. From here? Would 130 be a good outcome?
WICKET! Gardner st Martin b Jensen 29 (Australia 84-5)
Gardner doesn’t make that finish line! She’s well stumped by Martin after dancing down at Jensen but missing an ambitious drive. New Zealand have done well to take wickets to break partnerships up just as they’ve started to look dangerous.
14th over: Australia 84-5 (Molineux 7)
13th over: Australia 78-4 (Gardner 24, Molineux 6) Molineux slaps with authority through cover - nice shot to start the new Devine over. But the skipper bounces back quickly, keeping Gardner quiet. It feels like this is reasonably well placed for Australia again now, especially if Gardner can make it to the finish line.
12th over: Australia 72-4 (Gardner 23, Molineux 1) Kerr has mixed up her stock delivery with her wrong’uns really nicely, which might inform why she has taken wickets with her only two loose deliveries - it’s the only time she hasn’t been probing away and asking questions. She gives a bit of bait to Gardner with her penultimate delivery here and she elects to take her on, driving a loopier legbreak on the up through cover for four - hitting the cover off it. An excellent contest.
11th over: Australia 66-4 (Gardner 18, Molineux 0) More power and timing from Gardner, lifting Tahuhu over point for four then pulling four more. But she could be out as well, a fat top edge flying high into the air, somehow not going to hand.
WICKET! Lanning c Huddlestone b Kerr 21 (Austrlia 57-4)
Lanning picks out mid-on! From nowhere, from a nothing delivery again from the leggie - a full toss on this occasion - she picks out Huddlestone. They’ve lost 3/15.
10th over: Australia 57-4 (Gardner 9)
9th over: Australia 54-3 (Lanning 20, Gardner 7) Kerrs in tandem, the seamer now back for her third. And it’s going very nicely until the penultimate delivery, which is slammed through cover by Gardner - what power the right-hander has.
8th over: Australia 47-3 (Lanning 19, Gardner 1) Gardner off the mark straight away, keeping the strike. She walked in during a similar period of play on Saturday, going on to smash 61 from 41 after playing herself in during the middle overs. Just three runs off Amelia Kerr either side of the wicket - very nicely done. In the best tradition of wrist-spinners, the wicket-talking ball the only poor ball in the over.
WICKET! Haynes c Satterthwaite b Kerr 3 (Australia 46-3)
Two in two overs! Haynes pulls a short ball from leggie Amelia Kerr straight to Satterthwaite at midwicket. But it doesn’t matter how they come, New Zealand are back in this. And credit to Satterthwaite, holding her nerve to complete the take the chance after missing a straightforward one earlier on. Time for Ash Gardner.
7th over: Australia 44-2 (Lanning 19, Haynes 1) Wickets slow runs: just two from it after Healy’s dismissal. Into Australia’s engine room with Lanning and Haynes.
WICKET! Healy c Perkins b Tahuhu 8 (Australia 43-2)
Tahuhu gets Healy! She was far from her fluent best in her brief stay today, picking out backward point with a miscued slap outside the off stump.
6th over: Australia 42-1 (Healy 8, Lanning 19) Short to Lanning outside the off stump is four runs every time. Devine is charging in and changing up her lengths, helped by Bates at extra cover who stopped a certain Healy boundary with a diving stop at cover. All told, eight from it making 42 from the power play. But what could have been for the White Ferns had Satterthwaite held onto that chance at slip.
5th over: Australia 34-1 (Healy 7, Lanning 13) So, Jess Kerr is brought back for over number five instead of bowling over three. The inswing, which netted her a maiden to begin this innings, is still there but the Australian captain is up to the task, twice finding a way to access the off-side and twice finding the rope behind point.
4th over: Australia 25-1 (Healy 7, Lanning 5) OH NO! Lanning dropped first ball! Satterthwaite puts the chance down at slip - an easy one; goodness me. And guess what? A couple of balls later, the she’s off the mark with an imposing clip through midwicket for four. Despite being a successful over, Mooney picked up earlier on, it doesn’t feel like it after that missed opportunity. You can’t drop Meg Lanning.
WICKET! Mooney c Martin b Devine 11 (Australia 20-1)
Lovely delivery, Devine bringing Mooney forward and finding a little edge! A big wicket for the White Ferns skipper, removing the No1 ranked batter in the world.
3rd over: Australia 18-0 (Healy 7, Mooney 11) There was no way that Healy was going to have terms dictated to her for long, charging at Tahuhu then uppercutting over the rope at backward point! As you do. It makes 11 off the over after Mooney cut the New Zealand quick in the same direction for four earlier in it. Why didn’t they give Kerr another over off the top while the ball was brand new? Frustrating.
“The bails seem to be chestnut-coloured rather than camouflage black today,” Abbey Sim notes. “Tuning in while multi-tasking in an online evidence law class, and it’s already a good afternoon because I managed to finish my lunch without getting any sauce on my new top!”
Abbey, my respect is double after feeding my baby a couple of times yesterday, joyously throwing her food back at me. I think she’s going to be a bowler.
2nd over: Australia 7-0 (Healy 1, Mooney 6) Mooney off the mark first ball, picking Huddleston up through square. Healy does likewise with a quick single to cover but that isn’t a good replay for Amelia Kerr at cover: had she picked up cleanly and thrown accurately, there was a run out on. But back to Mooney and the left-hander doesn’t miss out on a delivery angling down the legside, helping in its way for Australia’s first boundary. Back to Jess Kerr after her maiden? Let’s hope so.
1st over: Australia 0-0 (Healy 0, Mooney 0) What a fantastic over! Kerr has the ball hooooooping back towards Healy, giving her no room to move with the ball moving back towards her stumps throughout. A maiden to begin - brilliant swing bowling.
The players are on the field. Healy and Mooney, the ever-reliable opening pair, walk out for Australia. Jess Kerr, into the XI, has the new ball for New Zealand. PLAY!
If looking for some more pre-game reading, Vic’s Spin column on the Somerset/Essex rivalry/dominance from the late 1970s to the mid 1980s is lovely.
I missed a second change for New Zealand. Jess Kerr is also into their XI, replacing Lauren Down. As for Australia, Meg Lanning is very relaxed, not concerned that they lost the toss for the third time in a row. “To be honest, I wasn’t really sure.” When you’re as dominant her team, it doesn’t matter an awful lot who bats first.
Of course, no Ellyse Perry today either. It has been confirmed by Australian team management that the superstar all-rounder will miss the entire series due to a hamstring injury at training, following her major shoulder operation in March.
Isn’t it great seeing fans at the cricket again? Albeit in limited numbers but let’s not get bogged down in detail. Andrew Tuttle is one of those, who has won a ticket to ride at AB Field today and has decided to wear the Maxwell For Australia t-shirt from Geoff Lemon and my Final Word podcast. What a guy! Geoff, by the way, is there too calling this game for ABC radio if you want to hear his voice.
Teams as named
Australia: Alyssa Healy (wk), Beth Mooney, Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes, Ashleigh Gardner, Sophie Molineux, Nicola Carey, Georgia Wareham, Jess Jonassen, Megan Schutt, Delissa Kimmince.
Yep, unchanged. What a machine.
New Zealand: Sophie Devine (c), Maddy Green, Suzie Bates, Amy Satterthwaite, Katey Martin (wk), Amelia Kerr, Hayley Jensen, Katie Perkins, Holly Huddleston, Lea Tahuhu, Jess Kerr.
Huddleston in for Mair: a seamer for a seamer.
New Zealand have won the toss and they're bowling first
Full teams shortly but Australia are unchanged.
After Australia easily accounted for New Zealand in the first two T20s of this series, the focus was more on the visitors than the world champions. How can a team with so many talented individual players, who perform so well in the Women’s Big Bash year after year, have such a dreadful short-form record against their old rivals?
In this third and final T20, the White Ferns have the chance to break the cycle and they will need to - after this come three one-day internationals, starting later in the week, where the teams will play off for the Rose Bowl. So let’s hope they can show up and play their best cricket today and we have a top contest ahead of us.
I’ll be back with you in a few minutes with the toss and teams from Allan Border Field in Brisbane. They are playing on the same pitch as the two games on the weekend, so the working assumption is that the conditions will again favour spinners and bowlers who can take pace off. Drop me a line, how are you seeing it?