Australian opener Meg Lanning has warned New Zealand there is plenty of improvement to come from the Southern Stars, despite their first-up loss to the Kiwis in their Rose Bowl Series on Wednesday.
In a somewhat disappointing batting effort from the Southern Stars, the Australians were dismissed for 248 during the 49th over in their one-day international encounter at the SCG, with the New Zealanders making light work of the run chase as they claimed an eight-wicket victory.
Powered by player of the match Suzie Bates, who scored an unbeaten 122 off 131 balls, and Amy Satterthwaite (98), the Kiwis ran out comfortable winners, as they finished on 2-252 in 44.5 overs.
Lanning gave Australia the best possible chance of setting a quality target as she made 87 off 71 balls before being run out.
But while Lanning produced a steady display, wickets tumbled around her as five of Australia's top six batters fell for under 20.
"I thought we lost wickets at crucial times," Lanning said after the match.
"We sort of started building on a partnership and then we'd lose a wicket, so obviously having a few more higher contributions from the top six is probably what we're looking for in the next games.
"We've got a lot of batters in there who are capable of scoring quickly and (getting) high scores so we're looking to improve on that."
Having worked so hard to get to 87, Lanning was gutted with being run out.
"It was my fault," she admitted.
"There probably wasn't a run there and then I fell over and dropped my bat which didn't help the situation but that's the way things go sometimes.
"I was happy with the score I got but I think I still should have got a few more and then the team total would have been a bit higher as well."
Having posted 248, Lanning said that with the SCG showing off a crisp, fast outfield, that total never really looked like being enough for Australia.
And that proved to be the case, as Bates and Satterthwaite combined for a 168-run stand that all but took the game away from the Stars.
In the end it was part-time bowler Lanning that claimed Satterthwaite's wicket, the 26-year-old trapped in front with a full toss just two runs shy of her maiden ODI ton.
"That partnership was really good and set the base for their chase and Suzie Bates was able to bat through which is what you want when you're chasing a total like that," Lanning said.
"We thought it (248) was a little bit under.
"We probably thought 300 was needed and New Zealand probably showed that," she said.
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 8:14PM AEST