New Zealand have snapped a 13-game losing streak against women’s cricket world champions Australia by claiming a five-wicket win in the third Twenty20 international in Brisbane.
Amelia Kerr proved the difference, backing up from her superb 2-18 with the ball that restricted Australia to 7-123 to thrash an unbeaten 18 off 10 balls to ice the result on Wednesday.
Needing eight off the final over for victory, Kerr belted Megan Schutt for consecutive boundaries to steer the White Ferns to 5-125 and victory in the dead rubber with three balls to spare.
Australia won the opening two T20 matches to secure a 10th straight T20I series victory.
But New Zealand gained some confidence leading into the three-match one-day series starting in Brisbane on Saturday, after finally ending Australia’s remarkable run.
Australia had won the past seven T20 and six ODI matches against the White Ferns.
New Zealand were cruising in their run chase at 3-96 in the 16th over but looked wobbly after losing Amy Satterthwaite (30 off 25) and Katey Martin (23 off 24) – who shared a 52-run stand – before Kerr stood tall.
Australian spinner George Wareham took 2-19.
The hosts had earlier struggled with the bat after being sent in at Allan Border Field.
Australia couldn’t get going on a two-paced deck under overcast skies, Ashleigh Gardner top scoring with 29 off 21 balls including five fours.
Captain Meg Lanning was next best with 21 off 23 after being dropped by Satterthwaite in the slips off Sophie Devine on the first ball she faced.
In their first series since their T20 World Cup triumph in March, Australia won the first match by 17 runs before cruising to an eight wicket victory in game two despite being without star allrounder Ellyse Perry (hamstring).
Perry was injured at the World Cup and had hoped to make her return against the White Ferns in Brisbane.
However, she missed all three T20 clashes and won’t contest the ODI series where Australia will have history in their sights.
Australia have won 18-straight ODIs and can equal the all-time record of 21 consecutive victories held by Ricky Ponting’s side in 2003 with a whitewash.
“I sort of tweaked it (hamstring) about a week or so ago during some high speed running… it was pretty minor,” Perry told Seven Network on Wednesday.
“But it just has put me back due to the time frame with these games coming pretty thick and fast and the schedule.”