On Saturday the much-anticipated trans-Tasman Commonwealth Bank Women’s T20I series between Australia and New Zealand will begin with a blockbuster clash under lights at North Sydney Oval.
With a World T20 tournament looming in November, the three-match series is a crucial chance for both teams to prepare, while Australia will also be desperate to turn the tables on the White Ferns following a series defeat on home soil in early 2017.
First T20I North Sydney Oval, Sydney, September 29, 7.10pm
Second T20I Allan Border Field, Brisbane, October 1, 2.10pm
Third T20I Manuka Oval, Canberra, October 5, 7.20pm
How to buy tickets
The players have called on cricket fans across Australia to #WATCHME, so make sure you buy your tickets for what promises to be a hugely entertaining series! Tickets are just $15 for adults and kids are free (with a valid ticket).
This Saturday will see North Sydney Oval light up with more than just a display of world-class cricket. Get the whole family down for a night of food festivities, an exclusive Garden Bar for the adults and a LEGO Friends Play Zone for the young ones - all while Australia and New Zealand put on a show.
How to Watch
Fans in Australia will be able to watch every ball live on Channel Seven, Fox Cricket and cricket.com.au.
For those who can’t watch, you will be able to follow the live scores and radio coverage from ABC and Macquarie Sports Radio on cricket.com.au and the Cricket Australia Live App.
Cricket.com.au will also be producing highlights, reports and behind-the-scenes content throughout the series, and keep an eye on the Australian Women’s Cricket Team Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts for exclusive insights into life on tour with the Aussies.
Australia T20 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 T20 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
How's the Aussie preparation?
Australia have had an almost six-month break since the end of their most recent international tour against India in March. This series against the White Ferns has been a long time coming for Meg Lanning’s team and it kick-starts a hectic 14-month period that will see Australia contest two World T20 tournaments – including one on home soil in early 2019 – as well as an away Ashes and tours against Pakistan, West Indies and Sri Lanka.
During the winter, Australia’s stars have spent plenty of time at Brisbane’s Bupa National Cricket Centre, while others spent time playing in the UK’s domestic Super League.
The squad came back together earlier this month for a bonding camp in northern NSW ahead of a weekend of trial games.
Last weekend, every player in the 13-strong squad turned out for their states in the opening round of the domestic 50-over Women’s National Cricket League.
And on Thursday, both Australia and New Zealand will take on a Cricket Australia XI in a pair of 20-over warm-up games at Manly Oval.
Last time they met
New Zealand have had the upper hand over Australia in the 20-over game of late. The White Ferns have won their past three T20 series against the Southern Stars, including a 2-1 victory on Australian soil in early 2017. They boast a squad of strong limited-overs players including Rebel WBBL stars Suzie Bates, Sophie Devine, Amy Satterthwaite and Lea Tahuhu and No.1 ranked Australia will be desperate to turn around their recent record.
Australia completed their first T20 series win since mid-2015 in March when they defeated England in a tri-series final in Mumbai. They set a new record team total in that match – but it’s a mark that has since been broken twice, first by New Zealand and then by England (on the same day).
New Zealand were defeated by England in a final of their T20I tri-series in the UK in June, but they did score a record-breaking 1-216 against South Africa during the tournament.
Lanning is set to play her first international game on home soil since early 2017 after recovering from shoulder surgery. The Australia captain produced a century for Victoria in the WNCL at the weekend and she looms as the key wicket for New Zealand.
Bates gave up the New Zealand captaincy two weeks ago, passing it over to teammate Satterthwaite, but the veteran still looms as the key to the White Ferns’ batting line-up. She produced her maiden T20 century against South Africa in June and is no stranger to Australian conditions as a marquee Adelaide Strikers player.
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