Amy Satterthwaite executed the escape plan to perfection to get the New Zealand White Ferns out of jail in the opening match of the Rose Bowl women's one-day cricket series against Australia in Whangarei today.
The State Canterbury Magician's left-hander scored an invaluable 49 not out as the White Ferns won the match by two wickets at Cobham Oval.
Her inspiring innings, featuring six fours from 91 balls, saw her team overhaul Australia's 150 for eight with 26 balls to spare.
Satterthwaite had marched to the middle with New Zealand facing a seemingly hopeless cause after the top order was decimated as the hosts slumped to 28 for five after 10 overs.
She was up to the challenge, though, engineering a fightback which saw her double the score in tandem with Sarah Tsukigawa, who contributed 18, before Satterthwaite and Lucy Doolan carried New Zealand to the brink of victory.
Doolan's share was 34 off 62 balls as she and Satterthwaite put on a game-breaking 74 for the eighth wicket before Doolan was run out with their team just three runs short of their target.
The top five had contributed just 23 runs between them as Rene Farrell shot out three of them in quick succession before Satterthwaite saved her team's blushes.
Earlier, the Australians also suffered a meltdown to be 39 for five before a fighting half-century from Jodie Fields enabled them to recover.
Fields struck 52 off 94 balls while Ellyse Perry chimed in with a patient 29 as Australia battled back from a precarious position.
New Zealand grabbed the early initiative on the back of accurate bowling and sharp fielding as Australia were rocked by a series of setbacks.
New Zealand completed two runs out while the dangerous Karen Rolton was also dismissed cheaply by debutant Abby Burrows before Australia regrouped through Fields and Perry.
The New Zealand bowlers were tidy, with Burrows taking two for 15 off seven overs and Suzie Bates two for 38 off 10.
As well, Sophie Devine proved difficult to get away, delivering three maidens in her 10 overs and conceding just 27 runs.
The second game in the five-match series is in Whangarei on Tuesday.