The White Ferns have won the first of three Twenty20 matches against Australia by two runs with captain Aimee Watkins leading from the front.
After winning the toss and electing to bat the White Ferns found themselves in trouble immediately with opener Suzie Bates out for a duck but this didn’t deter Watkins who went about dispatching the Australian attack to all parts of Bellerive Oval in Hobart.
Watkins was joined by Sara McGlashan with the two stitching up 57 runs for the second wicket before McGlashan fell for 22.
When Watkins went for 44 off 36 deliveries a solid platform was set leaving Sophie Devine to push the team towards a decent total. The Wellington all-rounder keep the scoreboard moving with a 35 off 34 with the tourists posting a competitive 117 for seven off their 20 overs.
The Australians were on the back foot early in reply with White Ferns strike bowler Sian Ruck snaring Leah Poulton in the first over.
A number of small scores followed but the home side kept chipping away with Shelly Nitschke’s run-a-ball 46 making up the bulk of the total.
Devine and Nicola Browne bowled brilliantly at the death, defending 17 runs off the final two overs but it come down wire with Australia requiring three from the final ball.
Browne managed to nick the edge of Alyssa Healy’s bat with wicketkeeper Rachel Priest taking spectacular catch to finish the match and hand the White Ferns the first win of their tour.
Rose Bowl Series
Wed 10 Feb - Australia won by 115 runs
Thu 11 Feb - Australia won by four wickets
Sun 14 Feb - Australia won by 102 runs
Wed 17 Feb - Australia won by 10 wickets
Thu 18 Feb - Australia v White Ferns, St Kilda CG, Melbourne
Sun 21 Feb – White Ferns won by 2 runs
Mon 22 Feb - Australia v White Ferns, Bellerive Oval
Tue 23 Feb - Australia v White Ferns, Bellerive Oval