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Female ‘Bradman’ betters all-time greats

The Australian women’s team has secured a comfortable four-wicket victory over New Zealand, with captain Meg Lanning plundering her 14th ODI century.Without hesitation, Lanning chose to bowl first after she won the toss on Monday morning, and for good reason — Australia have not lost an ODI when batting second since October 2017.The skipper therefore…

The Australian women’s team has secured a comfortable four-wicket victory over New Zealand, with captain Meg Lanning plundering her 14th ODI century.

Without hesitation, Lanning chose to bowl first after she won the toss on Monday morning, and for good reason — Australia have not lost an ODI when batting second since October 2017.

The skipper therefore opted to chase at Allan Border Oval, ignoring Ian Chappell’s famous words of wisdom about the coin toss.

After a batting masterclass in Brisbane, Lanning smacked a boundary on the final delivery of the match to pass triple figures, ending up with 101 not out off 96 balls.

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The Victorian flourishes in run chases — she boasts the highest ODI batting average in the second innings of any Australian in history, male or female.

HIGHEST BATTING AVERAGE FOR AUSTRALIA IN ODI RUN CHASES

Meg Lanning — 67.81 (44 innings)

James Faulkner — 66.55 (23 innings)

Karen Rolton — 56.93 (60 innings)

Michael Bevan — 56.50 (81 innings)

Michael Clarke — 53.92 (75 innings)

Ellyse Perry — 53.50 (36 innings)

Shane Watson — 52.80 (63 innings)

* Minimum 20 innings

Lanning proved the difference on Monday, cracking nine boundaries and three sixes as Australia chased the target of 253 with 29 balls to spare.

Teammate Rachel Haynes set the foundations in the run chase, hitting 82 from 89 balls in a classy knock. Haynes and Lanning combined for a 117-run partnership for the second wicket, the fourth time they have mustered a century stand in their last seven innings together.

Earlier, tweaker Jess Jonassen claimed 4/36 with the ball to help restrict the visitors to 9/252 from their 50 overs.

Australia has now secured the Rose Bowl with an unassailable 2-0 series lead in their 20th consecutive ODI victory, one short of the all-time record set by Ricky Ponting’s side in 2003.

“We go out to win every game that we play,” Lanning told Channel 7 after the match.

“To be honest, we haven’t spoken much about that record at all … but we’re aware of it.”

The White Ferns have not won an ODI series against their Trans Tasman rivals since 1999 — Aussie young gun Annabel Sutherland was not yet born when New Zealand last held the Rose Bowl.

Lanning has been impeccable in the 50-over format, and is slowly cementing herself as one of the all-time greats in ODI cricket.

The 28-year-old has 14 ODI centuries to her name — the next most in women’s cricket is New Zealand’s Suzie Bates with 10.

FASTEST CRICKETER TO 14 ODI CENTURIES

Meg Lanning (AUS) — 82 innings

Hashim Amla (RSA) — 84 innings

David Warner (AUS) — 98 innings

Virat Kohli (IND) — 103 innings

Quinton de Kock (RSA) — 104 innings

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No male or female Australian cricketer with more than 25 ODI caps boasts a higher batting average than Lanning.

Her most recent scores in ODI cricket are 69, 121, 58 not out, 73, 45, 20 not out, 62 not out and 101 not out. Since March 2019, she has scored 631 runs in 11 innings at 90.14.

Australia will look to secure a series sweep against New Zealand on Wednesday, with the first ball scheduled for 11:10am AEDT.

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