Australia lose their first five wickets in five overs to slump to a 2-1 series defeat
The scorecard: New Zealand 8-113 (Bates 31, Wellington 4-16, Beams 2-21) beats Australia 66 (Blackwell 30no, Huddleston 2-9, Tahuhu 2-13) by 47 runs at Adelaide Oval, to win the series 2-1
The match in a tweet: White Ferns seal the series! Southern Stars crash to their lowest T20I total as New Zealand’s bowlers run riot in Adelaide
The record: The Southern Stars’ previous lowest total in a T20I was the 73 they were dismissed for in Wellington in 2010, with their efforts in Adelaide today earning them an unwanted place in the record books. The lowest total by any team in a women’s T20I is Bangladesh’s 44 against Pakistan in November last year.
The heroes: Australia had vowed to show positive intent with the bat in the power play, but things unravelled very, very quickly for the hosts in the face of a superb start from White Ferns opening bowlers Lea Tahuhu and Holly Huddleston. Confusion had Beth Mooney run out for one in the opening over, before Huddleston produced a maiden to pile the pressure on the Australians. Tahuhu’s second over went for just one and as the pressure mounted, Meg Lanning was caught behind swiping at a Huddleston delivery, before the quick trapped Elyse Villani plumb in front to complete a double wicket maiden. Tahuhu then had Ash Gardner caught behind and when Jess Jonassen spooned an easy catch to end the other, the Southern Stars had lost 5-9 in just five overs. Tahuhu bowled out her four-over spell, taking 2-13, while Huddleston’s initial three-over spell reaped an incredible 2-2.
The consolation effort: Southern Stars legspinner Amanda-Jane Wellington took four wickets to help restrict New Zealand to 8-113 in their innings. Starring on her home turf, Wellington's 4-16 put the brakes on New Zealand, who had reached 1-69 in the 12th over. The 19-year-old's spell included three wickets in an over, the first the key scalp of New Zealand skipper Suzie Bates for 31. While Wellington led the wicket taking, she was well supported by her fellow spinners, with leggie Kristen Beams taking 2-21 and Jonassen economical in her four-over block of 0-15.
The injury concern: It was a worrying sight for Australian fans when vice-captain Alex Blackwell pulled up sore chasing a ball in the field. She left the playing arena and a mild hamstring strain was confirmed, but didn’t stop the 33-year-old batting, although it did mean a reshuffle of the batting order in the midst of Australia’s disastrous collapse, with Blackwell unable to come to the crease until five wickets had fallen. When she did come out to bat, she was typically composed in extremely difficult circumstances, top-scoring with an unbeaten 30 from 34 deliveries.
The ‘what the?’ moment: New Zealand's Katey Martin couldn't believe her luck when she was bowled in unusual fashion. Having blocked a ball from Wellington, she somehow managed to hit the ball a second time in her follow through, sending it back onto her stumps.
The mystery spinner: The White Ferns brought 16-year-old leg-spinner Amelia Kerr - who was born in the year 2000 - into their XI for the deciding match following off-spinner Leigh Kasperek’s series-ending finger injury. Captain Suzie Bates had hoped the fact the Southern Stars were unfamiliar with the teenager, who made her debut against Pakistan late last year, would prove an advantage for the tourists. As it transpired, Australia were already 5-15 when she bowled her first over, but she picked up the sixth wicket to have Alyssa Healy caught for 12 and later sent Wellington on her way for eight, finishing with 2-16.
The next stop: Australia and New Zealand now head to the other side of the Tasman, where the one-day international Rose Bowl series will begin in Auckland on Sunday. The Southern Stars have held the Rose Bowl for 17 years and will be determined to keep it in their trophy cabinet.