Lanning, spinners guide Australia to 19th straight ODI win

Sports Saturday 03/October/2020 16:18 PM
Lanning, spinners guide Australia to 19th straight ODI win

An unbeaten half-century from skipper Meg Lanning helped Australia chase down 181 with seven wickets to spare in the first ODI against New Zealand.

Australia Women resumed where they left off more than 12 months ago, as they notched up their 19th successive ODI win. Their spin trio of Georgia Wareham, Jess Jonassen and Sophie Molineux picked up two wickets each in bowling New Zealand out for 180 in Brisbane, before the hosts chased the target down in 33.4 overs.

Alyssa Healy and Rachael Haynes got the chase off to a flying start, posting 41 runs in a little more than eight overs. Rosemary Mair broke through with the wicket of Healy, but Lanning, on the back of four fifty-plus scores in her last six ODIs, walked out to give the innings clear direction.

Lanning took her time settling in, but was soon playing shots around the wicket, including launching Sophie Devine over square-leg for a six. Haynes' wicket did not perturb Australia much, as Beth Mooney provided her skipper good company. By the time the partnership was broken in the 29th over, Lanning had moved to 48 and Australia within touching distance of a win.

Molinuex, who earlier starred with a spell of 2/28 in her 10 overs, ensured there was no further hiccup. Lanning remained unbeaten on 62.

Earlier, bowling first at the Allan Border Field, Australia picked up two wickets inside the first six overs, and didn't let the White Ferns batters settle. Megan Schutt gave little away, while debutant Annabel Sutherland scalped Amy Satterthwaite for her first ODI wicket.

Wareham, who came as a first-change bowler, removed Suzie Bates. The spinners kept a tight leash on the scoring rate and took out the cream of New Zealand's middle order.

On 83/6, New Zealand seemed to be heading towards a meagre score before Katie Perkins and Maddy Green put on 62 runs for the seventh wicket. A total of 180 gave them something to defend, but was never going to be enough against a strong Australia side. The hosts had never lost an ODI chasing 200 or less since 2013, and that record never seemed in danger on Saturday.