Australia beat New Zealand in their first T20 World Cup defense with a 97-run win against New Zealand.
Thanks to good knocks from Alyssa Healy (55 off 38) and Meg Lanning (41 off 33) Australia set New Zealand 174 to win, and the White Ferns were bowled out for just 76 runs, Ash Gardner finishing with the best figures of 5. – 12.
Thrown into bat, Australia got off to a terrible start, losing opener Beth Mooney for a duck in the first over courtesy of a great dance by Eden Carson off the bowling of Lea Tahuhu.
But the players recovered well, and Healy shared a 70-wicket partnership with captain Lanning.
Australia vs New Zealand – score summary
Australia 173-9 from 20 overs: (Healy 55 from 38), (Lanning 41 from 33), (Perry 40 from 22); Tahuhu (3-37), A Kerr (3-23)
New Zealand 76 all out from 20 overs: (Kerr 21 out of 30); Gardner 5-12, Rubble 2-8
New Zealand fought back, with Amelia Ker impressiver (3-23) and Tahuhu (3-37) taking two wickets in two overs.
Those wickets did not stop the relentless Healy, who shared a 50-run partnership with Ellyse Perry. (40) as Australia look set to hit 180+.
With five overs to spare, Australia looked to accelerate and, in doing so, lost five wickets and slipped from 148-4 to 167-9.
The damage was already done, and New Zealand were set 174 runs to win. In reply, they got off to a terrible start, losing both openers and ducks in the first over.
Suzie Bates was bowled first ball by Megan Schutt (2-8) and the skipper struck again as she trapped captain Sophie Devine lbw.
Australia took firm control of the match when Bernadine Bezuidenhout (14 off 10) was caught by Darcie Brown in the last over of the powerplay.
Insufficient runs between the wickets from Madeline Green (9 off 8) and Kerr, left New Zealand four down with just 50 runs on the board and Ash Gardner bowled Kerr (21 off 30) New Zealand had a mountain to climb.
The White Ferns could not recover and were eventually bowled out for 76 runs after just 14 overs, Gardner taking the last four wickets.
Amelia Kerr top scored for New Zealand but Bezuidenhout (14 off 10) and Jess Kerr (10 off 10) made it two in a poor chase.
Schutt (2-8), Brown (1-11) and Perry (1-4) helped Gardner, who went a perfect 5-12. The result is Australia’s biggest win in T20s, while the loss is New Zealand’s best in this format.
Gardner: Game made by hitters
Player of the game, Ash Gardner…
“That was set up by our batsmen. They gave us more freedom and flexibility with the ball. I had the chance to take wickets at the end.
“I’ve worked a lot on my arm to get up and over the ball and try to turn it over. For me, it’s about shortening my height, taking advantage of the height I can play as a really tall guy.”
Devine: A very disappointing day
New Zealand captain Sophie Devine…
“I thought we were poor in all aspects but we have to find the best in a competition like this.
Australia batted really well and I thought Lea Tahuhu and Amelia Kerr were great with the ball for us.
A target of 174 will be difficult but we lost early wickets and it was disappointing. It’s the only way to summarize it. “
Lanning: We hope we can
Australian actress, Meg Lanning…
“We came in today knowing it was going to be difficult for us to change quickly with the bat and get early wickets, especially Bates and Devine, [was great]. Hopefully we can bounce back and continue to do well. “
new Zealand will be at Boland Park, next Paarl, where they meet South Africa Monday at 5pm. Australia turning to them Bangladesh at St George’s Park, Gquberha on Tuesday at 5pm.
India start their campaign on Sunday in opposition Pakistan (1pm) against Sri Lanka, who stunned the hosts South Africa On Friday night, look for them to make it two out of two when they meet Bangladesh (5 p.m.).
Watch every T20 World Cup match on Sky Sports.