Lisa Sthalekar took four wickets to lift Australia to a seven run victory over the White Ferns in the third WT20 INTL match and win the five match series with two games to spare.
Led by Alex Blackwell’s 41, Australia scored 134 for eight after winning the toss and batting first at North Sydney Oval. The White Ferns chased valiantly but couldn’t overcome the Australian total thanks to Sthalekar’s four wicket haul and were left just short on 127 for eight.
Amy Satterthwaite scored 45 and Liz Perry added 24 to keep the White Ferns close before Morna Nielsen lashed a quick 21 at the end of the innings.
Sthalekar proved to be the difference between the two sides, striking early to get rid of Suzie Bates and taking three quick wickets in the latter stages to squash any hopes of a White Ferns revival. The wily spinner finished with career best figures of four for 18 off four overs.
Julie Hunter was the only other Australian bowler to register a wicket with the remaining three dismals all coming via run-outs.
Earlier, Leah Poulton got Australia off to a decent start with 35 with the rest of the batting line up chipping in around Blackwell’s top score.
Spinner Frances Mackay was the best of the White Fern’s attack with three for 18 while Kate Broadmore and Lucy Doolan picked up two apiece.
The teams take a break from the Twenty20 format to complete the three-match 50-over Rose Bowl series starting at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Wednesday 25 January.
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 – Result: Australia won by 59 runs
22/01/2012, Twenty-20 Match, North Sydney Oval, Sydney – Result: Australia won by 7 wickets
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)