Australia got off to a great start in the Women’s Twenty20 International Series (WT20 INTL), beating the White Ferns by four wickets in a tense encounter at North Sydney Oval, to take a 1-0 lead in the five match series.
Teenage debutant Jess Jonassen proved the match winner for Australia, taking two wickets and hitting a boundary of the penultimate ball to help the home team reach 148 for six and edge past the White Ferns first innings total of 145 for seven.
The White Ferns defence got off to the ideal start after Morna Nielsen struck early and Katie Perkins completed a run-out. However, an expertly paced stand of 77 between Jess Cameron (59) and Alex Blackwell (35) took Australia within 25 runs of victory.
The White Ferns fought back with three quick wickets to swing momentum back in their direction and had Australia teetering at 121 for five, but a late partnership between Sarah Coyte (17*) and Jonassen (8*) guided them home with one ball to spare.
Sian Ruck was the best bowler on display today, delivering a maiden and snaring two for 19 while fellow seamer Nielsen also impressed with two for 25.
Earlier, Suzie Bates and Frances Mackay got the White Ferns off to an excellent start with a 63 run stand for the first wicket.
Bates was the more aggressive cracking 33 off 31 while Mackay struck a run-a-ball 31. Amy Satterthwaite contributed a quick 18 off 13 and Perkins lashed 31 off 23 towards the end of the innings.
New ball bowlers Ellyse Perry and Julie Hunter both took two for 27 while spinner Jonassen picked up two for 28.
The teams meet again tomorrow at the same venue for the second match of the WT20 INTL series.
CA Scorecard - http://livescores.cricket.com.au/scoreboard_2686_1.html
White Ferns schedule
20/01/2012, Twenty-20 Match, North Sydney Oval, Sydney – Result: Australia won by 4 wickets
21/01/2012, Twenty-20 Match, North Sydney Oval, Sydney
22/01/2012, Twenty-20 Match, North Sydney Oval, Sydney
25/01/2012, One-Day Match, Sydney Cricket Ground (Rose Bowl)
27/01/2012, One-Day Match, Blacktown International Sportspark, Sydney (Rose Bowl)
29/01/2012, One-Day Match, Blacktown International Sportspark, Sydney (Rose Bowl)
01/02/2012, Twenty-20 Match, Sydney Olympic Park, Sydney
03/02/2012, Twenty-20 Match, Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)