Final Game. The White Ferns may have lost today, but again it was a good close game, lasting to the final over, and as is often the way, the Kiwis punched above their weight in taking the game to the Aussies, and making them work for it.
Lanning won the toss and bowled, with the consensus in the crowd that chasing was the thing to do, I wasn’t so sure, it could have been a good toss to lose, set a total with no pressure, runs on the board and see what the bowlers could do… problem is the Southern Stars bat a long way down, having only 4 bowler and a world class all-rounder allows batting in depth that very few sides in the world can even aspire to.
The kiwi openers started slowly, Bates dominating the strike to start and then Priest all but catching up, all in one Cheatle over, but unbroken for the first ten, 51-0, Bates falling first chipping straight to Blackwell at full length off Wellington for 27, 60-1 in the 11th. Satterthwaite was not to have a fairytale ending, bowled Gardner for 11, 73/2.
Priest was still there and with Martin she almost put on 100 run stand, falling 3 short when she was out for 77 (100) caught by Perry off Cheatle, 170-3 in the 36th.
Martin carried on the work, with Perkins (two katie/kateys together, rather confusing), whilst Lanning searched for a wicket, giving Villani seven overs, going for only 31.
Martin got to her 50 (70) and then on to equal Priest with 77 before falling to a screamer of a Lanning catch behind the bowler, 230-4 in the 43rd.
Perkins had joined Martin and pressed on but took one too many chances and was caught by Villani at mid off for 34 off 32, 254-6.
At this point the locals were hoping that the WASP, a sort of reverse Duckworth Lewis looking at the resources remaining would be right and the aussies would have to chase close to a run a ball, however, a flurry of late kiwi wickets; Perkins Curtis 14 254-6, Peterson 7 265-7, Bermingham 6 267-7 and Tahuhu 0 268-9 meant they just crept to the 50 over mark with 270-9. Better than the second game, but the kiwis had been 30ish runs short then, would 17 more be enough…?
The left/left partnership of Mooney/Bolton was dominated by Mooney, Bolton falling for a duck chopped on from Huddleston from the ‘airport’ end with Mooney on 13, 15-1. As is often the way, the ecstasy of a wicked is quickly deflated when you realise who the next opponent is – Lanning.
She and Mooney took the game away from the locals, at a decent rate, broken only by a runout, pretty much against the run of play by the kiwi skipper at midwicket for 69, 108-2, in the 20th. Huddleston returned to the airport end and her first ball created another moment of controversy, Priest appealing for a stumping and a few words being said between the players in the middle resulting in both skippers being spoken to by the umpires.
With the naked eye it looked like it took two attempts for Priest to gather the ball and break the stumps. The square leg umpire didn’t give it immediately and you couldn’t see how speaking to his opposite number was going to change it, as there are no replays for these games. In the end a maiden was followed by a wicket maiden, when was Perry bowled for 1, 110-3.
Again is all through the Aussie lineup, the ecstasy of Perry going is tempered by the sight of Villani coming to the wicket. She and the skipper stabilised and continued the steady progress towards the target, managing not to hole out to 16yo leg break bowler Kerr, whose 10 wicketless overs went for a measly 31. At the other end, they managed to score 60 runs in the next 10 overs from the quicks – Huddleston, Tahuhu and Bates.
Villani fell to a very rare lbw decision – only the 4th of the six games and there have been a number of very convincing appeals on both sides – giving Huddleston her third, 37, 182-4 in the 35th versus kiwi position of 165-2 at the same stage…
The scene was set for a clincher worthy of the tightly fought series. Blackwell continued the work done to date, but the run rate was not reducing and Bates was running out of bowlers at this stage, Bermingham and Satterthwaite having both been got after by the aussies. Peterson the wicket taker at Geelong was brought into the attack in the 41st over and as the aussies marched steadily towards their target provided one moment of hope, taking the return chance offered by Blackwell, 32 245-5. 26 runs needed off 29 balls.
The locals hoped, but you’re likely to get bad odd betting against any aussie side, and one with a skipper about to go through her tenth, I’ll repeat that TENTH, ODI ton (the only player with more than 8 was watching) and Healy at the other end…
Healy was not for hanging around, hitting six and four off two consecutive Tahuhu balls, and so it came to pass that target was 3 runs from the final Peterson over, this time a single and a lofted drive down the ground concluded it, the rosebowl stays with the aussies.
The kiwis may regret one of the poorer ground fielding displays of the tour, not atrocious, just not up to their normal high standards – a few balls through the legs or not picked up cleanly, perhaps showing how desperate they were to get the ball in. But the fact that they kept the pressure on to the end, and stayed with the world champions in a world cup year, should but will not today, lift their spirits. If either team brings the game seen today, NZ still hoping Sophie Devine will be fit to return to playing not just carrying the drinks, the world cup could be a doozy!
Game two on a hot sunny day in Mount, with a good but not full crowd, including I think three school parties, including one that had a half hour journey to get home. Having had heavy rain overnight, perhaps that was on Lanning’s mind when she won the toss and opted to bat, or perhaps she just prefers to chase, and chose to field.
Bates went at a steady two an over for the first three overs, as the damp outfield meant the ball was slow across it, at the other end Priest took a while to get off the mark, but when she did it was with a boundary. Perry, returned from a leg injury took the new ball with Farrell at the other end, and it was first blood to Perry – Priest cleaned up in the 5th over, 15-1.
Bates looked in good touch as Lanning mixed up her bowling, Gardner was introduced in this her 1st ODI in the 7th over, but the very next over saw a four straight back over Perry’s head from the fifth ball and a long conversation with the skipper, plus some arm actions resulted in an early drinks break as the physio applied a number of pieces of tape to Perry’s elbow. She bowled the next ball and was off for treatment. Jonassen replaced her, with Wellington introduced soon after in the 14th over – and all 5 of Australia’s front line bowlers had been used, if Perry didn’t come back on, Lanning was going to have to find overs from somewhere, likely Villani.
Wellington took the next three wickets to fall – Bates was first to go, getting in a right tangle as Healy whipped off the bails, 35 55-2 in the 16th. Martin joined Satterthwaite and got right into the scoring, perhaps given a slightly easy ride in that it was now that Lanning chose to sneak in a couple of Villani overs – apart from a few wides there was nothing to trouble the scorers, batsmen didn’t take her on and nothing to threaten them – 4 overs went for 13 runs (4 wides) and Martin was well on her way to catching Satterthwaite up.
But Martin was to be Wellingtons next wicket – caught Lanning at cover, a lot of oher balls having seemed to be close to her, for 43 off 51, 142-3. Perry didn’t hang around long slicing the second ball to short fine leg where she found Jonassen for a 9 ball duck.
Perkins joined Satterthwaite and continued where they left off in Auckland, Perkins, often faster than a run a ball and pushing the two’s, fell as Lanning tried to sneak in her two remaining Villani overs before she went back to the experienced Farrell and Jonassen for the last 1o. Perkins was bowled off the first ball of Villani’s second over – 6 overs one wicket for 30, not bad for what most would consider a part-time (in that many have never seen her) bowler, 207-5.
Satterthwaite was now into the seventies and being willed to her 5th century in a row in ODIs (to be the sole holder man or woman of this record) but fell on her sword, trying to push the scoring on for the team. Having been dropped by Gardner off a steepler just before, Villani at mid on was not going to miss the chance despite needing to back peddle a bit in a strong breeze, bowled Farrell, 85 off 117, 230-6. Peterson then fell, next ball to a great running catch on the deep square boundary by Mooney for 8 230-7. This was also only the third time she’s been out this season of seven ODIs.
Tahuhu joined Bermingham and the two of them nudged and nurdled the total to 253-7, Tahuhu being run out trying a second off the last ball – she probably would have been out on TV replay to the 4th ball of the over, stumped, as she fell forwards.
NZ opened with Tahuhu and the hat-trick spinner Peterson. But it was the change to Huddleston that brought the opening wicket – Bolton having dominated the 22 run partnership before edging the ball into her wicket, 17, 22-1.
Lanning opened with a boundary (how many times does that happen) and she and Mooney moved the score on at a good pace, regularly over the 5 an over required. Even the paramedic at his first game realised the home team needed a breakthrough when Bates turned to her seventh bowler, the 16yo still off school, who obliged with not one but two wickets, Lanning and Villani both bowled, but Blackwell hitting the hat-trick ball, 110-3 after 21 overs.
Mooney pressed on through her 50, but Kerr did for her also, 57 (64), 138-4 and to end a good school day, Kerr also got Healy caught and bowled 36(41), 219-5.
By the time, player of the match, Blackwell was out for 65(74) 237-6, the damage was done and the only surprising thing was that having been told that Perry would bat, we hadn’t seen her.
In the 47th over, a misfield by Bates allowed the ball to go to the wide midoff bounday and it was less than two required, and Gardner obliged to send the ball past the bowler to win the game. NZ will rue the slower over rate in the middle overs, Australia could easily have got another 30 runs. All back here on sunday for the decider!
Having won the T20I series, attention turned to the ODI series in New Zealand, comprising 3 ODIs, one in Auckland and 2 in Mount Maunganui. Todays game was just listed as Eden Park, the main ground in Auckland, a stroll down the road from the train station and you can’t miss it… except there didn’t seem to be a way in. I met others trying to find a way in and we wandered further down the road, past what is the equivalent of the Lords Nursery ground, where we saw Southern Stars and White Ferns warming up… OK, so nice small ground with better atmosphere, except the atmosphere was soured by the sight of other spectators emptying water bottles…you could only bring them in if new and sealed. I was flabbergasted – the weather was hot for me, so must at least have been warm for the hundreds of kids around, and we’re always being told to keep hydrated. A blast at the man searching my bag – its not a stadium fellers – let me bring in my juice and then he had a go at my camera and told me to keep it in my bag as the TV cameras were in… In contemplation I think actually he thought it was a professional camera and so I used it anyway!
For a game that was televised, the girls put on a great show for the cameras with all results possible pretty close to the end despite the best efforts of umpires and extras.
Australia started well, having won the toss and batting, Bolton the first to fall from the all seam attack to a Priest one-handed catch behind the timbers off Tahuhu, for 11 22-1. Lanning was looking in lanning-esque form, off the mark with a boundary. However, opposite number Bates had her number and bowled her for 15, 61-2 bringing Rachel Haynes to the wicket, no stranger to the aussie colours, although absent for a few years. She and Beth Mooney put on almost a hundred, defeated by another Priest (given a) catch, this time from the seam from the other end of Huddleston for exactly 50, 156-3.
This partnership should have ended on 94, when the first ball of Satterthwaites’ second over was hit by Haynes to Perkins at cover, but was called no-ball by Kathy Cross on the information of her square-leg colleague Garth Stirrat, as there were not enough fielders in the ring. After the no-ball signal, there were discussions with the NZ fielders and then a conversation between the umpires and then with those on the other end of the radio. Eventually Kathy Cross moved back across to the wicket and raised her finger – kiwi celebrations re-started and Haynes moved off towards the players gazebos.
However, cue more discussions on the radio, Haynes stopped about 10 yards from the boundary, with a tv camera at her feet and eventually Kathy Cross again raised her arm to signal no-ball and then the free-hit. Much confusion in the crowd which the announcer did not resolve and most will have gone home without knowing what happened – it is not possible to rescind a no-ball once called, so despite the fact that the correct number of fielders were inside the circle and was confirmed by the TV pictures, it had to stay a no-ball. Haynes took her good fortune to add 30 to her score, and 62 to the partnership and total before she was out.
Double the score at 30 overs, 156-3 would have been a very decent score..
Mooney should have been the next to go, swishing at a wide ball and sending it wider, this time a Huddleston front foot no-ball was the culprit. Instead Villani holed out to Tahuhu at deep square off Satterthwaite in the 41st over for another exact 50, 237-4 and the next over saw the end of Healy, for a smart caught and bowled by Tahuhu, 242-5.
Mooney brought up her maiden ODI ton, following a run of low scores in the T20s, in the 43rd over, but fell in the next over without adding to her score, trying to scoop Tahuhu and finding the glove of Priest, 251-6.
The aussie tail never really wagged, with the remaining four wickets falling in 25 balls for 24 runs, Australia all out for 275.
NZ started strongly with Bates hitting three boundaries in the first 11 balls.. there were also 3 wides in the first three overs, something that would continue to help the kiwi cause most of the way through the innings. The first wicket didn’t come in the first 10 overs, Priest caught Bolton on the boundary off the last ball of Wellingtons’ first over, having been dropped of the third ball of that over by opening bowler Cheatle at short fine leg on her ODI debut, straight in and straight out, 58-1.
Bates put on a 50-partnership with Satterthwaite, and getting to 50 herself before being caught Jonassen at point, bowled Schutt for 55, 99-2. Martin and Satterthwaite kept rotating the strike and the scoreboard ticking, although it felt slow to the crowd as they fell behind the equivalent aussie score. Sattertwaite offered a very sharp c&b chance to Jonassen, which did not stick, so Martin was next to fall to Wellington for 43, caught Cheatle for 43, 173-3.
Sam Curtis, in as injury cover, fell to Cheatle chopped on for 3, 178-4 – one that was on target, amongst an over and a half of extra balls due to wides. Perkins was the last wicket to fall lbw to Jonassen for a faster than run a ball accelerating 29, having previously survived at least one very close lbw shout. Satterthwaite at the other end had been making good use of her long legs, but was slowing down, seeming to be struggling with a groin problem, but with Perkins having taken some of the pressure off, her not unusual slow scoring rate of 50 also accelerated, and with Peterson’s see ball, hit ball 8 replacing Perkins at the other end, she opened her shoulders and hit some lovely threading boundaries to pass her 100 and win the game for the White Ferns.
Having become the only player to hit three centuries in a row in the series against Pakistan in November, Satterthwaite made it four in four ODIs, joining Kumar Sangakkara who made his four in the Australia/NZ 2015 World cup (vs. Bangladesh, Australia, England Scotland). Unsurprisingly, she was also Player of the Match. (Some might argue that Priest was robbed with some good catches behind the timbers, despite one being a rather dodgy carry a couple of the others were rather good.)
The teams now move to Mount for the remaining two ODIs, thursday and sunday.