Ashleigh Gardner’s (61) half-century and Megan Schutt’s disastrous bowling (4 for 23) helped Australia’s women team beat New Zealand by 17 runs in the first T20 match to take the series by 1-0. Batting first after losing the toss, the Australian team scored 138 runs for six wickets in 20 overs thanks to Gardner’s 61-ball innings in 41 balls with the help of six fours and three sixes.
Chasing the target, the New Zealand women’s team could only manage 121 runs for seven wickets in 20 overs. For New Zealand, Suzie Bates scored the most 33 runs in 38 balls with the help of two fours. Gardner was awarded the ‘Player of the Match’ award.
Australia did not have a good start and both their openers Alyssa Healy (6) and Beth Mooney (2) lost their wickets early. For Australia, captain Meg Lanning contributed 24 runs in 28 balls with three fours and Rachel Haynes contributed 23 runs with the help of three fours in 18 balls.
Georgia Wareham was unbeaten with nine and Nicola Carey scoring seven. For New Zealand, captain Sophie Devine took three wickets for 18 runs in four overs, Tahuhu took 30 runs in four overs, Rosemary Mair took 22 runs in four overs and Bates took one wicket for six runs in an over.
There was no major partnership from New Zealand to chase the target, due to which they had to face defeat. In addition to Bates in the New Zealand innings, Devine scored 29 runs in 34 balls with the help of three fours and a six and wicketkeeper-batsman Katey Martin scored 21 runs in 16 balls with the help of three fours.
For Australia, Megan took four wickets for 24 runs in four overs, Delissa Kimmince took two wickets for 24 runs in four overs and Jess Jonassen took one wicket for 20 runs in four overs. The second match of the series between the two teams will be played on this ground on Sunday.