Cap­tains’ knocks key to Aussie win

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - SPORT - FIONA BOLLEN

MEG Lan­ning and Rachael Haynes res­cued Aus­tralia’s bat­ting in­nings to lead them to a six-wicket vic­tory over New Zealand and take first blood in the T20 se­ries last night.

A touch over 3000 peo­ple braved a cold Syd­ney night at North Syd­ney Oval and they were re­warded for their com­mit­ment as Lan­ning and Haynes found the bound­ary with ease in a 119-run part­ner­ship that took them to the 163 tar­get with 14 balls to spare.

Nine­teen fours and a six from the pair kept Aus­tralia’s run rate above eight and on track af­ter they lost four early wick­ets and ap­peared cornered by the White Ferns who had fin­ished the first in­nings with a head of steam.

Haynes fin­ished with 69 off 40 ball while Lan­ning scored 56.

“Our bat­ters showed some re­ally good ag­gres­sion, which was nice and some­thing we talk about, we just need a bit of a stead­ier there and con­tinue play­ing in the way we wanted as well,” Haynes said. Kiwi pair Katey Martin (56 not out) and Ber­na­dine Bezuiden­hout (20 not out) posted 41 from the last three overs to put their side in a com­mand­ing po­si­tion head­ing into the sec­ond in­nings.

Aus­tralia’s Beth Mooney (6), Alyssa Healy (14), El­yse Vil­lani (4) and Ashleigh Gardner (7), all fell in the first five overs.

It was a tough po­si­tion that needed a cool knock to right things. Cue the cap­tains.

Haynes joined Lan­ning in the mid­dle at 4-45 in the sixth over and by the start of the 12th they’d put on a 50-run part­ner­ship and had Aus­tralia close to tick­ing over the 100-mark.

The 100-part­ner­ship came in the 15th over and they com­pleted the vic­tory with two overs to spare.

“I do think we were about 15, 20 runs short and it would have been a bit more of a bat­tle out there,’’ New Zealand coach Haidee Tif­fen said.

Meg Lan­ning plays an­other classy shot. Pic­ture: Getty Im­ages

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