A swashbuckling century from opener Meg Lanning has helped the Southern Stars post a crushing nine-wicket victory over New Zealand at North Sydney Oval on Monday in the third match of the Rose Bowl series.
Lanning smashed 103 off just 50 balls in an innings that saw her crack 18 boundaries and three sixes as Australia chased down their victory target of 178 with more than 28 overs to spare and for the loss of just one wicket to take a 2-1 series lead with one match to play.
Alyssa Healy (62 not out off 69) was also a valuable contributor with the bat, hitting eight fours and a six and combining with Lanning for an astonishing 146-run first-wicket partnership that put the result well beyond doubt.
Nicola Browne (1-41 off four overs) was the tourists' only wicket-taker but she came in for some serious punishment along with Morna Nielsen who was spanked for 47 off her four overs.
Erin Osborne also played a big role in setting up the win for Australia in the first innings, after her captain Jodie Fields won the toss and elected to bowl, by taking 3-32 from 10 overs.
One of Osborne's victims was opener Suzannah Bates (39 off 33) who hit five fours and a six and was looking ominous before being bowled as her 53-run opening stand with Frances Mackay (12 off 29) was brought to an end.
New Zealand then slumped to 4-75 before Nicola Browne (42 off 62) and Katie Perkins (five off 24) steadied the ship with a 37-run fifth-wicket union.
But Osborne the destroyer entered the fray again to dismiss Perkins and Katie Martin (three off six) in the space of eight balls to wrest the momentum back Australia's way and the hosts never looked back.
The fourth and final match takes place on Wednesday in Sydney.
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia
First Posted 17 December, 2012 3:58PM AEST