Captains’ knocks key to Aussie win
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