Dominant batting performances from Suzie Bates and Amy Satterthwaite have seen New Zealand stun Australia, beating the hosts by four wickets in the opening match of their Rose Bowl one-day international series.
In a quality tussle at the SCG, Bates scored an unbeaten 122 off 131 deliveries while Satterthwaite fell just two runs short of her ton as the pair added 168 runs for the second wicket, helping New Zealand cruise past Australia's initial total of 248 all out with 5.1 overs to spare.
Their efforts certainly outshone the Australian batting effort. Although Meg Lanning (87) and captain Jodie Fields (51) both scored half centuries, too many of the Southern Stars struggled to make an impact, as five of the top six batters fell for under 20.
Erin Osborne added a livewire 34 off 38 deliveries late in the innings as she and Fields produced an 80-run eighth-wicket stand, but the hosts will still be disappointed not to have finished their innings.
Even if they had and taken the tally past 250, the New Zealanders probably would have finished on top, given the mood Bates and Satterthwaite were in.
Player of the match Bates showed her attacking intent from the outset as she struck consecutive fours off the second and third balls she faced during the second over.
Bates' fellow opener Lucy Doolan may have fallen cheaply for 10 in the seventh over as her mis-timed pull shot off Sharon Millanta (1-42) fell nicely for Lisa Sthalaker at mid-wicket.
But that was about as good as it got for the Australians in the field as Bates and Satterthwaite took control of the contest, the pair racing to their 50 partnership in just 43 balls.
Both batters finished with 16 fours to their name, while Bates added a six for good measure as they took the sword to the Southern Stars' much-vaunted attack.
Satterthwaite was eventually trapped in front from a full toss from Lanning (1-30), just shy of her maiden century but Bates and Sara McGlashan (17 not out) took the visitors through to a commanding win with a score of 2-252.
Earlier in the day, Rachel Candy impressed with 4-35 from her nine overs as she helped bowl out the Australians.
It was an innings that seemed to ebb and flow somewhat for the Southern Stars in terms of momentum as the hosts put together several useful partnerships before New Zealand fought back with a series of wickets.
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia
First Posted 12 December, 2012 6:08PM AEST