Opener Suzie Bates cracked seven boundaries and Aimee Watkins bagged three wickets to set up the White Fern’s comfortable 59 run win over the Australian Southern Stars at Westpac Stadium in Wellington.
Riding on the quick start by Bates, the White Ferns put on a useful 132 for seven after opting to bat and then bundled out Australia for 73.
The White Ferns opening bowlers, Kate Pulford and Nicola Browne, set the tone for what was an outstanding bowling display.
Pulford ripped out both openers inside the first five overs to initiate the rout with Nicola Browne’s aggressive short pitched bowling stunning the Australians.
By the time the pair has finished their eight over opening spell the visitors were in tatters at 31 for three. Pulford snared two for 21 while Browne took one for 10.
Captain Watkins was full of praise for the new ball bowlers, “we weren’t sure if 132 was going to be enough but Kate and Nicola managed to bump the run rate up in the first few overs, and with only two fielders out it was great. Their effort was fantastic and it was their bowling that set up the win”.
Bates and Sophie Devine continued to pile on the pressure and were rewarded with a wicket each before Watkins mopped up the tail to finish with impressive figures of three for eight off 1.3 overs.
Only Shelley Nitschke (12) and Ellyse Perry (15) were the only batmen to reach double figures for Australia.
Earlier, Bates slammed 48 of just 40 deliveries at the top of the order with the in form Devine chipping in with a brisk 28 off 22.
Left-armer Rachel Haynes was the best of the Australian line up taking three for 19.
It is the fifth consecutive Twenty20 victory for the White Ferns over Australia with the winning streak stretching back to the ICC World Cup in England last year.
The win gives the White Ferns a one-nil lead in the coveted Rose Bowl series that consists of two Twenty20’s and three One-Day Internationals.
Rose Bowl Series
Fri 26 Feb – White Ferns won by 59 runs
Sun 28 Feb - White Ferns v Australia, AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Wed 3 Mar – White Ferns v Australia, Queenstown Events Centre, Queenstown
Sat 6 Feb - White Ferns v Australia, Queens Park, Invercargill
Sun 7 Feb - White Ferns v Australia, Queens Park, Invercargill