Cheree Kinnear takes a look at what the Trans-Tasman travel bubble could mean in the short term for New Zealand sport.
All the ODI cricket action between the White Ferns and Australia.
The White Ferns are no match for the Australian one-day cricket juggernaut.
Australia set a world record at Mount Maunganui today, claiming their 22nd consecutive ODI victory with a dominant six-wicket win.
They hunted down New Zealand’s 212 with 69 balls remaining, breaking the record held by the Australian men’s team, who won 21 consecutive ODIs in a four-month span in 2003.
Australia’s streak took longer to compile, with their last defeat in October 2017, and seven of those 22 victories have been against New Zealand.
Today’s win was one of their more straightforward efforts, with the White Ferns failing to set an imposing total.
At 159-2 with 13 overs remaining, a reasonable score looked possible, but the middle order weren’t able to launch and the platform was wasted.
Whether it was a well-set platform is debatable, as Lauren Down’s career-best 90 anchored the innings, but came off 134 balls, with her strike rate possibly leaving her fellow batters needing to be more aggressive than would have been ideal.
Amy Satterthwaite (32 off 50) and Amelia Kerr (33 off 46) made reasonable contributions, but a controversial stumping to dismiss Kerr led to the collapse, with nobody else passing 13 as Megan Schutt (4-32) and Nicola Carey (3-34) claimed crucial wickets.
A missed chance of a competitive total was followed by brutal missed chances in the field. The early scalps of Rachael Haynes (caught behind off Jess Kerr for 14) and star skipper Meg Lanning (caught behind off Hannah Rowe for five) reduced Australia to 37-2 and gave the Ferns a chance.
However, poor fielding let the hosts down, with two clear-cut chances going down, and several other half-chances not going to hand.
The worst was Lea Tahuhu dropping a straightforward catch at long-off offered by Alyssa Healy, with Healy making 65 off – most crucially – 68 balls.
Healy’s aggression gave Australia the impetus that New Zealand’s innings was always lacking, and even when she and Beth Mooney were dismissed in quick succession, there was no pressure, with the required run rate always simplistic.
In the end, Ellyse Perry – nearly caught second ball before finishing unbeaten on 56 – and Ashleigh Gardner (53 not out off 41) saw Australia home with ease.
Satterthwaite acknowledged the Ferns’ total wasn’t good enough, ruing the run-rate at the top of the order.
“212 against most teams probably isn’t going to be enough, especially against a quality outfit. Up top they bowled pretty well, I thought we weathered the storm pretty well but probably got just a little bit behind the eight-ball.
“We probably put a lot of pressure on that middle-to-lower order to score at a quick rate to get us to a total that we thought would be defendable.”
The Rose Bowl – which the Ferns haven’t won since 1999 – is still up for grabs, and Satterthwaite is looking for continued improvements ahead of the second clash of the three-match series at the same venue on Wednesday.
“We’ve got to keep backing our skill sets. We showed in the T20 series that we can be competitive and we’ve got to keep believing. As much as this hurts we really improved in some areas from where we were at with England. If we keep chipping away and improving in that way we’ll end up in a positive place at some point I’m sure.”