CommBank T20 Series v NZ

Haynes cashes in on surprise chance

Middle-order batter wasn't required in game one ... so in she came for game two, getting some valuable prep against NZ

Laura Jolly, at Manly Oval

27 September 2018, 03:31 PM

Australia vice-captain Rachael Haynes seized an unexpected chance to take an early look at the New Zealand attack on Thursday and used it to issue a warning to her trans-Tasman rivals.

Haynes was denied a chance to bat in Australia's warm-up match against a Cricket Australia XI in Manly on Thursday morning, as the top-order cruised to a nine-wicket victory.

Offered a chance to swap her Australian gold for a CA XI kit for the afternoon's second warm-up against the White Ferns, Haynes jumped at the opportunity – and made the most of it, reaching the boundary six times and clearing it once in a 35-ball 56.

It was a powerful display just two days out from the opening match of the Commonwealth Bank T20 Series at North Sydney Oval on Saturday evening.

"It was a little bit unplanned, but that's the nature of T20 when you bat middle order – sometimes you don't get a hit, so it was nice to get an opportunity in the afternoon and spend some time in the middle," Haynes told cricket.com.au.

"It happened very late in the piece, in the changeover of the innings when the opportunity (for an extra hit) was put to the batters and I was pretty keen to take it. It was nice to have a hit and get an insight into what's to come in the series."

Match wrap: Batters shine in NZ series warm-up

It was an invaluable chance for the 31-year-old to not only reacquaint herself with New Zealand spearheads Lea Tahuhu and Holly Huddleston, but to also get a look at a few unfamiliar faces.

"Tahuhu bowled quite well today, she bowled pretty quick," Haynes said. "I've played a bit of my cricket against New Zealand so I do know a few players but they've got a couple of new girls and a few coming back in as well so it was good to get a bit of a look at them.

"I haven't spent much time facing (Leigh) Kasperek … and (Kate) Ebrahim coming back in as well."

Before Haynes had her chance to test out the White Ferns attack, it was the Australian top three of Beth Mooney, Alyssa Healy and Ashleigh Gardner who put together an ominous display against the CA XI.

Mooney led the way with an unbeaten 54 off 38, while Healy blazed early before falling for an 11-ball 23.

"It was a pretty good all-round performance," Mooney reflected at the end of the Australian warm-up game.

"We (the top-order) spoke about assessing the conditions early as the wicket was a bit sticky early on but it flattened out with the sun on it.

"We also spoke about our fearless approach to the game and batting and making sure we were (staying true to) our style.

"I was trying to throw the kitchen sink at it a bit too much early doors, but I reined it in and allowed myself to get back to timing the ball and playing good cricket shots, rather than over-hitting the ball."

Magnificent Mooney finds middle in Sydney

And perhaps the most pleasing sight for Australia was the return of Ashleigh Gardner after missing last weekend's domestic 50-over action due to concussion, the 21-year-old showing no signs of hesitancy as she stroked 39 from 29.

"It's always nice seeing Ash out there, she plays an impressive style of cricket and something's going to happen when she's out there whether she's batting or bowling," Mooney added.

"It was nice to see her get the demon off her back and hit the ball as sweetly as she did."

Australia will have one final chance to prepare for Saturday's series opener on Friday, when they'll hit the nets at Drummoyne Oval before heading to North Sydney Oval for a second session under lights.

The first T20I kicks off at North Sydney at 7.10am AEST on Saturday, with every ball broadcast live on Channel Seven, Fox Sports and cricket.com.au.

CommBank T20 INTLs v NZ 

September 29: First T20I, North Sydney Oval, Sydney

October 1: Second T20I, Allan Border Field, Brisbane

October 5: Third T20I, Manuka Oval, Canberra

Australia squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Delissa Kimmince, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Elyse Villani, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham

New Zealand squad: Suzie Bates, Bernadine Bezuidenhout, Sophie Devine, Kate Ebrahim, Maddy Green, Holly Huddleston, Hayley Jensen, Leigh Kasperek, Amelia Kerr, Katey Martin, Amy Satterthwaite (c), Lea Tahuhu, Jess Watkin

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