Australia v New Zealand T20Is - Women
Aussie bubble burst as Kerr leads NZ to consolation win
A below-par effort with the bat proved Australia's undoing despite a brilliant fightback with the ball as New Zealand win with three balls to spare
Adam Burnett at Allan Border Field, Brisbane
30 September 2020, 06:09 PM AEST
Brisbane Heat recruit Amelia Kerr has steered New Zealand to their first win against Australia in almost four years, the leg-spinning allrounder taking two wickets before icing the third T20I with a late batting cameo.
After surrendering the series on Sunday, the White Ferns had the motivation of ending a 13-match white-ball losing streak against their trans-Tasman rivals to energise them, and they set the tone for the contest with a much improved bowling display at Brisbane's Allan Border Field after captain Sophie Devine won the toss.
Star trio Sophie Devine, Lea Tahuhu and Amelia Kerr did the bulk of the damage – removing five of Australia's star-studded top six between them – as they restricted the hosts to 7-123.
Devine struck first with a lovely off-cutter that had Beth Mooney caught behind for 11 and the Kiwi captain could have had two in a row when Meg Lanning flashed loosely at the first ball she faced and edged through to Amy Satterthwaite at first slip, who spilt a regulation chance.
Lanning eased into her work with a couple of boundaries through point and third man, though at the other end Alyssa Healy never quite looked settled, and her brief stay ended when she cut Tahuhu straight to Katie Perkins at point.
Rachael Haynes and Lanning then went in quick succession, both picking out fielders from the bowling of leg-spinner Amelia Kerr, and it was left to Gardner and Sophie Molineux to try and forge a meaningful partnership.
Gardner quickly picked up where she left off in game one, driving wide of mid-off for four from the third ball she faced.
The right-hander then engaged in an entertaining battle with Tahuhu, who bounced the Australian twice in as many balls; the first was hoicked away for four over fine leg and the second was mistimed and narrowly avoided the fielder at deep backward square leg.
🚨 Ash Gardner has arrived! 🚨 LIVE: https://t.co/dGuZTgDqGr #AUSvNZ pic.twitter.com/0k4yJMY3pb— Australian Women's Cricket Team 🏏 (@AusWomenCricket) September 30, 2020
Gardner then unleashed the shot of the innings from Kerr – a delightful lofted drive for six over extra cover – before she was stranded out of her crease going after the spin of Hayley Jensen.
Molineux (18) and Georgia Wareham (11) each added valuable runs at the back-end of the innings before the locals finally sighted Brisbane Heat captain Jess Jonassen with bat in hand, the left-hander making an unbeaten six from five balls.
Yessss! Wolfie and Midge combine for the big wicket of Sophie Devine. LIVE: https://t.co/dGuZTgDqGr #AUSvNZ pic.twitter.com/HIm0SLmNcB— Australian Women's Cricket Team 🏏 (@AusWomenCricket) September 30, 2020
After Devine made a crucial 25 at the top of the order to begin the run chase, Australia fought back through a quick double-wicket blow; first the outstanding Wareham had the NZ skipper stumped, and then Rachael Haynes ran out Suzie Bates with an excellent piece of work in the field.
The key stand of the innings came when Satterthwaite combined with Katey Martin, the pair putting on 52 to get the Kiwis within touching distance of the target.
But the Australians again fought back, refusing to relinquish their grip over their neighbours without a thrilling fight.
The @WHITE_FERNS take the win with some clutch batting at the death by Amelia Kerr 👏 #AUSvNZ pic.twitter.com/2j9NrCUgF2— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) September 30, 2020
In the end, it came down to Kerr, the gifted young allrounder who has already experienced WBBL final glory at this venue, and she was up to the task, hammering Megan Schutt down the ground and then over midwicket to secure a deserved five-wicket win in style.
Australia XI: Alyssa Healy (wk), Beth Mooney, Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes, Ashleigh Gardner, Sophie Molineux, Nicola Carey, Jess Jonassen, Georgia Wareham, Megan Schutt, Delissa Kimmince
New Zealand XI: Sophie Devine (c), Maddy Green, Suzie Bates, Amy Satterthwaite, Katey Martin (wk), Amelia Kerr, Hayley Jensen, Katie Perkins, Holly Huddleston, Lea Tahuhu, Jess Kerr
CommBank T20I and ODI series
Australia squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Maitlan Brown, Erin Burns, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Tahlia McGrath, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Molly Strano, Annabel Sutherland, Georgia Wareham, Belinda Vakarewa
New Zealand squad: Sophie Devine (c), Suzie Bates, Natalie Dodd, Deanna Doughty, Lauren Down, Maddy Green, Holly Huddleston, Hayley Jensen, Amelia Kerr, Jess Kerr, Rosemary Mair, Katey Martin, Hannah Rowe, Amy Satterthwaite, Lea Tahuhu, Jess Watkin
All matches to be played at Brisbane's Allan Border Field
First T20: Australia won by 17 runs
Second T20: Australia won by eight wickets
September 30: New Zealand won by five wickets
October 3: First ODI, 10:10am AEST
October 5: Second ODI, 10:10am AEST (11:10 AEDT)
October 7: Third ODI, 10:10am AEST (11:10 AEDT)
Watch live on the Seven Network, Fox Cricket and Kayo Sports