Meg Lanning reigns supreme as Australia seal Rose Bowl series with a game to spare

© Cricket Australia

A magnificent unbeaten century from skipper Meg Lanning and her 115-run partnership with vice-captain Rachael Haynes headlined Australia’s four-wicket win over New Zealand at the Allan Border Field in Brisbane on Monday (October 5). They thus retained the Rose Bowl trophy, sealing the three-match series, 2-0, with one game to spare .

Lanning overcame a middle-order wobble post the dismissal of Haynes to bring up her 14th century and her ninth in a chase with the winning shot in the 46th over to extend Australia’s winning streak to 20 matches, leaving them just one win short of the world record held by the Ricky Ponting-led Australia men’s side in 2003.

Chasing 253 to win, Australia got off to a whirlwind start with Alyssa Healy taking on Lea Tahuhu from ball one. She swatted the first ball through square-leg, then slapped one over extra-cover for a six before cutting one past point. Devine ended her cameo castling her with a full, swinging delivery even as Healy tried to flick it on the move.

Haynes took over from her opening partner, as in-form Lanning joined her, caressing the balls angled across her through the cover point region for boundaries. New Zealand bowlers were guilty of giving both the batters width, and failed to build any pressure on them as they sprayed the ball all around.

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Haynes smashed an Amelia Kerr full toss towards mid-wicket to bring up her 54-ball fifty. New Zealand’s issues compounded when Tahuhu walked off midway in her third over with a lower-back strain. The duo continued their assault on the bowlers with a barrage of boundaries, hitting Maddy Green on to the grass banks twice in an over. Hayley Jensen and Hannah Rowe – playing her first match – were treated with disdain as the pair brought up their fifth-century partnership from 20 innings.

Australia were motoring along, but lost Haynes against the run of play when she drove a full toss from Devine straight to cover. Soon Kerr got into the act, she first trapped Beth Mooney in front of the wicket for six, then flummoxed Sophie Molineux with a googly before getting Ash Gardner to nick one behind for a golden duck. This triple-strike left Australia still needing 57 runs to get with five wickets in hand.

Lanning continued to exude calm, not letting the mini-collapse affect her, and flicked Devine over square-leg before launching Kerr’s free hit over mid-wicket. She found able company in young Annabel Sutherland as the bowlers struggled to create any pressure to back up Kerr’s efforts. Even though New Zealand managed to dismiss Sutherland eventually, it was too little too late as Lanning brought up her century and the series in the first ball of the 46th over. Kerr finished with figures of 3 for 47.

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Earlier, put into bat again by the hosts, New Zealand started confidently with the rejigged batting line-up getting into their stride straight away. Natalie Dodd clipped the first ball from Megan Schutt to fine-leg for a boundary. Devine, who promoted herself to open the innings in place of injured Suzie Bates, latched on to half-volleys from Annabel Sutherland to start her innings.

The pair mixed caution with aggression playing out a couple of Schutt’s overs. They ran hard between the wickets and punished the Australian seamers when they erred. They weren’t afraid to use their feet against the spinners, especially Georgia Wareham.

However, with Jess Jonassen keeping it tight from one end, Lanning’s decision to bring Molineux into the attack reaped immediate rewards for Australia when Dodd missed one going for a sweep and was bowled around her legs to end the 75-run partnership.

A rusty-looking Satterthwaite found it difficult to get going and survived a close lbw shout against Ashleigh Gardner even as Devine brought up her fifty from 67 balls. Satterthwaite, who was on five from 16 balls at one stage, soon got into her groove as she drilled Nicola Carey for three boundaries down the ground in the 34th over.

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The experienced duo was looking good for more with Satterthwaite going past her fifty in 58 balls when Devine top-edged a sweep off Jonassen to Haynes at short fine-leg. Soon the visitors found themselves in a bit of strife losing both Kerr and Satterthwaite as they were starting to open up.

From 204 for 4, Katey Martin (26) and Green (21) put on an enterprising 42-run partnership from 22 balls to give the innings much-needed impetus. Both came down the track to hit fuller deliveries straight down the ground and used the depth of the crease to target the leg-side boundaries.

At 245 for 4, the pair threatened to take New Zealand to 270, but the visitors suffered a collapse when they lost five wickets for two runs and were reduced to 247 for 9 as Jonassen picked up three wickets in the penultimate over. New Zealand eventually finished with 252 for 9 from their allotted 50 overs.

Jonassen, who restricted the batters with her stump-to-stump line, finished with figures of 4 for 36 while Molineux and Schutt picked up two wickets each.

Brief scores: New Zealand 252 for 9 in 50 overs (Sophie Devine 79, Amy Satterthwaite 69; Jess Jonassen 4/36, Sophie Molineux 2/49) lost to Australia 255 for 6 in 45.1 overs (Meg Lanning 101*, Rachael Haynes 82; Amelia Kerr 3/47) by four wickets. PotM: Meg Lanning.