In the most dominant performance of a dominant series the Australian women’s cricket team racked up a world record equalling 21st straight victory to destroy New Zealand by 232 runs and break a slew of records on the way.
There was no Meg Lanning and no Ellyse Perry but also no worries for the Aussies who set the Kiwis a target of 325 – the biggest total at Allan Border Field – then registered their biggest win against New Zealand, who buckled in the face of a world-record run chase and were rolled for just 93.
It was an exclamation point on a 3-0 series sweep and a victory that equalled the world record mark set by the Aussie men’s side in 2003.
With captain Lanning sidelined by hamstring soreness, the Kiwis may have fancied their chances but met the same fate as every opponent Australia has faced since 2018.
Aussie opener Alyssa Healy set the platform after the Aussies were sent in to bat with a blistering 87 before 18-year-old Annabel Sutherland gave a glimpse of just how much longer the winning streak could go on.
Sutherland became the country’s youngest-ever no.3 when elevated to replace Lanning and ensured the target would prove to be insurmountable for the Kiwis.
The victory handed Australia a clean sweep of the Rose Bowl series and a 5-1 start to the COVID-19 impacted summer after their single T20 loss to the Kiwis in the final match of the series.
With the international schedule under a COVID cloud, the next ODI fixture is not set in concrete but a tour of New Zealand is likely early next year, when they will be out to claim the record outright after Wednesday’s ninth consecutive win against the Kiwis.
HEALY GOES BIG
After making 47 runs in her two trips to the crease in the opening matches of the Rose Bowl series, Alyssa Healy played with great intent in game three, setting the foundation for the Aussies’ big score in a 144-run opening stand with stand-in captain Rachael Haynes.
While Haynes finished with 96 to pick up the player of the series, Healy’s 87 at a stroke rate of 100 set the tone for the attacking Aussie innings and rewarded a power of hard work in the pre-season.
“But my job’s to go out there and take the bowling on and (I did that with) probably just one too many in the end but at least we got off to a really good start,” said Healy, who also finished with a skilful stumping.
FUTURE LOOKS GOLDEN TOO
Sutherland made a stylish 35 from 56 balls before taking a key wicket opening the bowling with Megan Schutt to join an impressive list of players Perry, Karen Rolton and Jess Jonassen to have batted at three and opened the bowling.
“It’s obviously nice to get that opportunity, not in great circumstances with Meg being out but I feel pretty honoured to get that opportunity at no.3 do I just wanted to go out and make the most of it,” Sutherland told Channel 7.
“It’s quite a tricky wicket to get in on but once you’re in you can cash in.”
And she is not the only young gun in the record-breaking line-up, with Ashleigh Gardner, 23, Sophie Molineux, 22 and Georgia Wareham, 21, also playing on Wednesday.