Cricket: White Ferns fall short in second ODI

By Niall Anderson

Meg Lanning takes a catch to dismiss Katey Martin as she celebrates with bowler Amanda-Jade Wellington. Photo / Photosport
Meg Lanning takes a catch to dismiss Katey Martin as she celebrates with bowler Amanda-Jade Wellington. Photo / Photosport

The White Ferns' 18 year quest to regain the Rose Bowl has been put on hold.

Australia have levelled the three-match series at 1-1 following a four-wicket win in Mount Maunganui today, setting up a decider at the same venue on Sunday.

Set 254 to win, Australia chased it down with 16 balls to spare to deny the Ferns their first Rose Bowl series victory since 1999, despite the best efforts of young spinner Amelia Kerr.

Kerr, who hadn't been born when the White Ferns last held the Rose Bowl, took 4-54 in just her sixth ODI, but the 16-year-old's highly promising display couldn't steer the White Ferns over the line.

Amelia Kerr celebrates a wicket. Photo / Photosport
Amelia Kerr celebrates a wicket. Photo / Photosport

If Kerr is the future of New Zealand women's cricket, then Amy Satterthwaite is the present, with the experienced batswoman again to the fore after they were put into bat on the expansive Bay Oval.

Satterthwaite paced her innings much like her match-winning effort in the Rose Bowl opener, starting slowly but getting support from the middle order, before accelerating at the end.

Inserted early after Rachel Priest's dismissal, Satterthwaite joined Suzie Bates (35) as the Ferns took some time to get their innings flowing.

Satterthwaite was dropped on three occasions and struggled to split the field, taking 85 balls to reach her 50. In a similar fashion to the series opener, she was allowed to build her innings while Katey Martin (43 from 51) and Katie Perkins (38 from 36) provided the attacking intent.

Spin was the main bowling weapon of the day, and Amanda-Jade Wellington picked up three wickets as Australia pinned the hosts back. Attempts to clear the infield ended up in the hands of fielders as Martin and Perkins departed, but Satterthwaite held steady in her 42-over stay at the crease.

Having made four consecutive centuries, a record-breaking fifth looked on the cards, but her endeavour to raise the run rate saw her caught by a retreating mid-on for 85.

The White Ferns attacking impetus worked however, with 80 runs coming off the last 10 overs, and 46 from the last five to post a competitive 253-8.

Australia gained ascendancy early in their chase, with Beth Mooney and Meg Lanning adding a quick 87 for the second wicket, before Kerr struck in her first over.

Two wickets fell in two balls, with Lanning misjudging a wrong-un which spun onto the stumps, and Elyse Villani bowled around her legs attempting to sweep. 29 runs later, Mooney fell to the same fate, and Kerr had given the White Ferns a chance to end their drought.

The flurry of wickets brought Alex Blackwell and Alyssa Healy to the crease, and the pair produced a match-winning partnership.

Blackwell punished anything short or wide as she struck 65 from just 74 balls, with Healy chipping in with 36 from 41 deliveries. Their aggression saw the asking rate quickly plummet, and although Kerr's fourth wicket - Healy, caught and bowled - briefly stalled the chase, the rest of the New Zealand bowling attack could muster just two wickets between them in their 37.2 overs.

One of those was Anna Peterson's scalp of Blackwell, and with star all-rounder Ellyse Perry unable to bat due to injury, the White Ferns were into the tail. However, Australia needed only 16 runs, and the lower-order duo of Jess Jonassen and Ashleigh Gardner showed cool heads to guide them home and send the series to a decider.

- NZ Herald

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