Poised Peterson seizes unlikely moment

Hat-trick hero overcomes surprise to win match for White Ferns and set up a decider in Adelaide

When New Zealand's Anna Peterson was asked to bowl the final over of the second T20 international against Australia on Sunday, her first thought was something she couldn't repeat out loud in polite company.

The Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars needed 11 runs to win and Peterson had yet to bowl an over in the match.

Or the series.

In fact, the last time the off-spinner bowled at international level was on March 4 last year.

Quick Single: New Zealand stun Stars in final over

And on that occasion – also against Australia – her two overs went for 19 runs.

Few could have predicted what happened next on Sunday, as Peterson took three wickets with her first three deliveries, including the prized scalps of Jess Jonassen and Alyssa Healy, to claim a hat-trick and a series-levelling win for the tourists.

"I probably can't say it on camera," Peterson said of her first reaction when captain Suzie Bates asked her to bowl the crucial over.

"But I was actually kind of pumped for it.

"Suzie was very supportive and told me what to do and where to bowl and the fielders did the rest."

Peterson wipes out Stars with hat-trick

Peterson's first international hat-trick came in just her 10th T20I and given it secured a crucial win over the White Ferns' fiercest rivals, it also could not have come at a better time.

"It was a little unexpected, but it was great fun at the same time.

"I just had to bowl it, really, and the fielders caught it, so I only did half the job really.

"But it was great fun, hopefully I can do it again sometime."

Peterson also paid tribute to the efforts of New Zealand fast bowler Lea Tahuhu, whose frugal four-over opening spell of 0-11 ensured the Australian batters never really got going in their rain-interrupted pursuit of the White Ferns' 9-101.

Quick Single: Healy 'as good as anyone in Australia'

"She was incredible," she said. "I was fielding at point and I could watch the replays of the balls and she was seaming it all over the place.

"It was beautiful.

"Someone starting like that it makes it really easy."

Another player unsurprised by Tahuhu's efforts was her Melbourne Renegades teammate and Australian off-spinner Molly Strano.

"Lea bowled really bowled well and her four overs on the trot put us on the back foot early doors," Strano said.

"I watched her first-hand during the Big Bash playing with Lea and I know how damaging she can be.

"She was great for them then, she got past the outside edge a few times.

"She's a world-class bowler and her bowling is something we'll have to watch over the next couple of days and see how we can get on top of her in Adelaide and not let her dominate us too much."

Quick wrap: White Ferns level T20I series

Strano picked up a slice of history herself when she picked up 5-10 during New Zealand's innings, the best T20I bowling figures by any Australian, male or female.

The result left a bittersweet feeling for the 24-year-old, but she expects defeat to galvanise the Southern Stars heading into Wednesday's decider at Adelaide Oval.

"It was really disappointing not to get the win, I'm a really competitive person and I hate losing, especially when it's in the green and gold," she said.

"We'll reassess and bounce back stronger in Adelaide.

"Now the series is in the balance and we've got it all to play for in Adelaide, which is really exciting to play a high-pressure game at a beautiful venue as well."

No partnerships cost us: Strano

New Zealand, meanwhile, will head in full of confidence after their fighting effort in Geelong, Peterson said.

"We needed that boost after the first game," she added. "I think we've got a lot of confidence going into Adelaide."

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