Australia have defeated New Zealand by nine wickets to ensure a clean sweep of the CommBank T20 Series.
On a chilly night in Canberra, Australia put in a near faultless performance with the ball to dismiss New Zealand for just 103.
New Zealand never got going in their innings, with the biggest partnership being the 29 run opening stand. A constant flow of wickets stemmed the run rate early, and the pressure got to skipper Amy Satterthwaite, who was bowled by Ellyse Perry for 14.
The very next delivery, Perry had another wicket, this time thanks to an incredible one-handed diving catch by Rachael Haynes that will be difficult to surpass as catch of the summer.
These two wickets triggered a monumental collapse, as New Zealand went from 3/68 to 8/76 within fifteen balls.
Sophie Molineux staked her claim for a more permanent spot in the T20 side with a clever spell of accurate bowling that saw her pick up two lbw’s in consecutive deliveries. With regular left-arm spinner Jess Jonassen racing the clock to be fit for the World T20s, Australia will be comfortable knowing that Molineux can more than fill the void.
The only blight on Australia’s performance was, once again, some sloppy fielding. Beth Mooney and Haynes both dropped a catch early, and Molineux fumbled a straightforward run out opportunity later in the innings, on her hat-trick ball.
Perry said that fielding will be a focus for the Aussies moving forward.
“We’re still putting down a few catches, which in T20 cricket can cost you, so that will be something for us to work on,” she said.
Wicket-keeper Katey Martin again played a lone hand with the bat, ending with 35 not out as wickets tumbled around her.
It was a comfortable chase for the Aussies, with Alyssa Healy continuing her fantastic form, ending with 67 off 44. Her ability to score runs on either side of the wicket was a feature, and her ability to get Australia off to a fast start will be crucial in the World T20.
Healy was named Player of the Series, and Perry was glowing in her praise of the keeper.
“She’s had a really great off season and preseason, she’s put in a huge amount of work, and she’s taken on a lot of responsibility. It’s really paid off for her, and that’s been really special to watch,” she said.
Australia now play Pakistan in three T20s and three ODIs, before the World T20 kicks off in the West Indies in November.
“[The Pakistan Series] is another really good opportunity to play some more cricket and prepare for the West Indies, which is the main goal,” Perry said.