Peter is a sports writer at the Bay of Plenty Times

Cricket: White Ferns knock over Australia

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The White Ferns celebrate the wicket of Nicole Bolton , which broke the Australian opening partnership on Saturday. Photo / Andrew Warner
The White Ferns celebrate the wicket of Nicole Bolton , which broke the Australian opening partnership on Saturday. Photo / Andrew Warner

The White Ferns won the opening one-dayer against Australia by nine runs at Mount Maunganui's Bay Oval on Saturday.

The victory gives the women's side a 1-0 lead in the three-match Rose Bowl series, with game two today and the finale on Wednesday at the sumptuous Bay Oval.

Amy Satterthwaite was named player of the match after top-scoring with 72 off 88 balls in a total of 202-9 that was just enough as Australia crumbled from 104-3 to be all out for 193 in the final over.

Pace bowler Lea Tahuhu bowled aggressively at the start and end of the innings to take 3-34 in a match otherwise dominated by the slower bowlers, with leg-spinner Erin Bermingham nabbing three key wickets.

White Ferns captain Suzie Bates scored 43 in typical style before she was run out from a deflected straight drive at the bowler's end.

She was not overly happy with her team's total of 202 which she thought may have been 50 runs short.

"But that's the game of cricket. When you've got the runs on the board, and you can take wickets regularly throughout the innings, you are always in with a chance," Bates said.

"We have a lot to look at with our batting as I thought we were in a good position to get 250 and we just lost wickets. It is hard to hit over the top when you haven't been in long with the pace off the ball."

Australia's two left-handed openers put on 69 before Thamsyn Newton broke the partnership on debut for the White Ferns.

Bates said the long opening stand may have worked in their favour as she was able to hold back left-arm spinner Morna Neilson.

"We wanted to hold off Morna to bowl to the right handers and having her and Erin [Bermingham] to bowl nearly 20 overs together in the middle got us back into the game. I am really pleased as we had seven bowlers step up today at different times and Lea Tahuhu at the end was outstanding for us."

Opener Beth Mooney top scored for Australia with 53 off 77 balls.

She said Australia needed to rotate the strike more.

"In the middle order especially it is important to get off strike and we probably struggled with that a little bit and it put a lot of pressure on as the run rate started creeping up."

The win secures two ICC International Women's Championship points for the White Ferns, who join the West Indies on 16 points behind Australia on 20, with the top four nations qualifying automatically for the 2017 ICC Women's World Cup.

- Play starts at Bay Oval at 10.30am today and Wednesday with free entry to spectators.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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