That was a fun day. Swings of fortune, some periods of grind, some flashes of freedom. This series will come down to a decider on Thursday, and we’ll have coverage with Emma Kemp. Thanks for your company today.
Amy Satterthwaite is the stand-in captain. “I felt a bit rusty to begin with, you’re having to think all the time. I spoke about it before the game, said that if everyone executed their role then we’d be in a good position, and everybody did that. We fielded outstanding, all the bowlers did their job. I said before batting that I wanted us to try to get ahead of the rate, and that didn’t happen. But the way that Frankie Mackay stuck in and got us ahead there was important. Opening the batting and opening the bowling, it was a big day for her, but she was brilliant. Stepped up to the challenge and took it with both hands. I’ll take a French cut any day of the week. We’ve lost a game to Australia in that fashion, so we’ll take a win.”
Meg Lanning says she always thought they were a bit light for runs, though she was confident their bowlers were a decent chance to compete. Bringing the game to the final ball shows that they did. “We felt like we needed to take wickets to stay in the contest, so it was a matter of balancing that with the run rate. That last ball, I don’t think there was too much wrong with it, but that’s the way it goes.”
Frankie Mackay is player of the match. Opened the batting and the bowling. “It’s a little bit tender, to be honest, but you’d take all the pain in the world to get a win like that. I shocked myself and my teammates as well to see those shots go over the rope. Sometimes when the heart rate’s going a bit, you have to take a deep breath and look around and think, this is why we do it.”
New Zealand win by four wickets
A win to savour for the New Zealand women. They got bossed around by England recently, and before that they toured Australia and got bossed around there. They lost the first T20 match after having a decent chance to win it, and there were several points today where it looked like they should win, only for Australia to push ahead again. Coming down to the last couple of overs, it was a scramble, it was anything but clinical, but it was probably all the more enjoyable for that.
Hannah Rowe was terrific at the end. Talk about modest records: she’d hit one boundary in T20 cricket for New Zealand before today. She hit two in this innings, when they really mattered, off Megan Schutt at the end. I wondered whether Schutt was too consistent in that final over, bowling the same kind of delivery over and over. By the end, Rowe was able to line that up.
Maddy Green then found the boundary twice in the final over, and that was enough. 21 from the last two overs was no small demand!
The fact that they got close enough for that final rally though, you can put down to Frankie Mackay. She started clunkily, a bit hampered by a leg injury, and it got worse as the innings progressed. But she got the scoring going, whacking a couple of sixes and raising spirits with the run rate. Her 46 off 39 changed the dynamic, and Amelia Kerr’s 36 off 33 held things together through the middle.
And the fact that a gettable chase was there to be got comes down to NZ’s bowling effort. They were so good all day, forcing Australia to hit to the boundary riders, hit to the infield, and so keeping the scoring down. Keeping a team like Australia to 6.5 runs per over throughout is impressive, but doing it without bowling them out is more so.
20th over: NZ 131-6 (Green 16, Rowe 14) New Zealand win the match in the most entertaining of fashions. The ball is good, full and straight. Green gives herself room, tries a huge swing to the leg side. Angled bat. Inside edge. Past leg stump, beats the short fine, and races for four. Carey sinks to the ground. Lanning hides her face in her hands. Green is laughing, laughing, before she has even crossed for a run, halfway down the pitch and unable to believe her good luck. Swing hard and hope, that’s about as refined as it gets in that situation. And on this occasion, hope has delivered.
19.5 overs: One run! Bottom edge from Rowe as she tries to go leg side. The ball lands at her feet. Green was backing up halfway down the pitch, and gets on strike. Three runs to win, two runs to tie and bring a Super Over.
19.4 overs: Long conference between Lanning and Carey. Long on is back. Long off is back. It’s going to be full. Dot ball! Swing away from the bat and it beats the edge.
19.3 overs: One run. Green squeezes it back past the bowler this time. Rowe on strike. 4 runs from 3 balls required.
19.2 overs: dot ball! Almost a run out at the non-striker’s end, as Green hits back to Carey, and Rowe dives for her ground.
19.1 overs: Maddy Green on strike. Can hit long. Nicola Carey bowling. Skiddy pace. In at the stumps. Green hits it for four! Through cover, on the walk, along the ground, hits the gap.
19th over: NZ 121-6 (Green 7, Rowe 13) No second hat-trick in this format for Megan Schutt, as Rowe drives the relevant ball down the ground for a single. Wants the second but it isn’t there. Green tries to muscle a ball straight but again can only get one. Schutt errs to the leg side, but Rowe trying to sweep gets pad on the ball! Saves Schutt at least one wide, maybe five of them. Similar line next ball, but Rowe stands up tall this time, clears her front toe, and shovels four runs through long leg! Good shot. Plays to midwicket next ball, and races back for the second as Schutt keeps aiming at the batter’s boots. Same ball from Schutt to end the over, and by now Rowe has lined her up! Middles it, down on one knee, between the leg-side sweepers at midwicket for four.
NZ need 9 from the final over!
18th over: NZ 109-6 (Green 6, Rowe 1) Maddy Green can hit big, and she finds a boundary here. Takes guard on off stump against Jonassen, steps outside and plays a standing sweep behind square leg. Hits another one nicely but straight to deep midwicket. NZ need 21 from the last two overs.
17th over: NZ 101-6 (Green 0) Just shows you how good this Australian team is. Games that they shouldn’t be in, they find ways to stay in. They’re in the box seat now.
WICKET! Kerr b Schutt 36 (33), NZ 101-6
Two in two balls! Schutt on a hat-trick to end her third over. Swings the ball in, floating up at the stumps. Kerr advances, but doesn’t know what to do with the full length. Yorks herself, really, in the end. Prods at the ball, misses, and it hits middle stump.
WICKET! Halliday c Healy b Schutt 1 (2), NZ 101-5
The left-handed Halliday starts off facing Schutt, who comes around the wicket. Halliday shovels a run to long on. Back over the wicket to the right-handed Kerr, who is strong off her pads. Digs out a dot, then whips a ball wide of long-on. Halliday calls for two and runs to the danger end, making it. Kerr back on strike, slashes at width, hits it well but it gets knocked down at point. One run rather than four. Which brings Halliday back on strike for a big swing to leg, an outside edge that goes up high and comes down at short cover, where Healy has arrived from behind the stumps to catch. Again a wicket from the fifth ball, and the task gets harder for New Zealand.
16th over: NZ 97-4 (A Kerr 33, Halliday 0) Brooke Halliday batted well in her brief chance the other night. Kerr has strike for the final ball of the over after crossing before the catch was taken. Wareham lands it beautifully, yorking Kerr and denying her the chance to score.
NZ need 33 from 24.
WICKET! Martin c Carey b Wareham 5 (11), NZ 97-4
Wareham’s final over. Kerr comes down the wicket at her fellow leg-spinner and cleans her out over midwicket. Four runs, first ball of the over. Wareham comes back with a couple of dots, swinging but not timing them. Sweeps a single, brings Martin on strike, and the Kiwi keeper tries to go large straight down the ground, but miscues it high. Carey at mid on waits under it and claims the high ball. Had to go for the boundaries, Martin, but soaked up a few too many deliveries before getting out.
15th over: NZ 92-3 (A Kerr 28, Martin 5) A bit more productive for New Zealand, five singles against Jonassen as they work the spin around. They need 38 from the final five overs.
14th over: NZ 87-3 (A Kerr 25, Martin 3) Parry and thrust. A fine over from Wareham, two runs off it, including Martin skying a ball that landed safely between mid off and cover after she tried to go over the top.
13th over: NZ 85-3 (A Kerr 24, Martin 2) Katey Martin in next, the busy wicketkeeper-bat. Can be very useful in these situations. Jonassen bowls the 13th, giving up only four singles as the batters find the field.
NZ need 45 from 42 balls. Frankie has closed that gap for them. Theirs to lose from here.
WICKET! Mackay c Mooney b Brown 46 (39), NZ 81-3
12th over: NZ 81-3 (A Kerr 22) Darcie Brown is back. Ten runs from her three overs so far, and Lanning hopes she can tangle up Frankie. But she’s bowling to Kerr first. and Kerr cuts beautifully for four! Shot! Not far from Haynes at backward point, but on the bounce even had it gone to her. It flies wide and away to the rope. Feeling good, Kerr charges the fastest bowler in the Australian side but misses. Stays at home for the next ball, short again, cut again, but this time Haynes on the dive gets a hand to it and keeps the scoring to a run. Frankie on strike. Nails it for four! Through midwicket along the ground, a lot of bottom hand as she whips this ball away, coming across the line. Brown responds, bangs in her bouncer so hard that it clears Mackay by about the height of another Mackay. She’s not bothered. Gets on the front dog next ball, sinks down onto one knee, and crashes the slog-sweep for six! Over deep mid. And after a brilliant over for New Zealand, with 16 runs coming, it comes to an end. Short and width again, Frankie nails the cut shot, but doesn’t get the placement. Fast to Mooney at point, who juggles the catch but manages to claim it on the second attempt while falling to ground.
What an innings from Frankie Mackay though. Applause all round. And let’s not forget, the first international wicket for Darcie Brown.
11th over: NZ 65-2 (Mackay 36, A Kerr 17) Two shots a minute from Frankie. Tries the reverse lap shot against Carey, aiming to go through deep third, but missing. Utterly nails a pull shot next ball but it goes one bounce to the deep midwicket sweeper. Carey goes leg side to Kerr, would have been a wide but Kerr catches it with some glove and picks up four! Very fine behind the keeper.
65 to win from 54 balls.
10th over: NZ 58-2 (Mackay 35, A Kerr 11) Another big swing for Mackay along the ground to backward square, one run. Kerr charges Wareham, who bowls shorter, and Kerr adjusts well, opening the face to run the ball to backward point. Haynes and Mooney crash into one another! The ball escapes between them into the deep for two runs, the cover sweeper tracking around. Fortune smiles on New Zealand, and again when Mackay backs up too far, Healy throws at the non-striker’s stumps, and Mackay has got back in time and then is able to run an overthrow. Which gives her the strike, and the chance to come down the wicket and whack Wareham for six. Over deep midwicket and into the hospitality area at the ground in Napier.
11 from the over. NZ need 73 from 60.
9th over: NZ 47-2 (Mackay 27, A Kerr 7) Jess Jonassen bowls left-arm orthodox and takes wickets against New Zealand for fun. Mackay flicks the first ball off her pads and takes a second run to deep backward square, and that hurts her. She’s already favouring a hamstring, it looks like, and she also rolls her ankle a bit on the second run. Tries a reverse sweep next ball and misses. Then she nails a solid pull shot, but straight to deep midwicket. Takes the run, Kerr cuts one to cover, Mackay tries a huge sweep shot and misses. So it’s big shots only now for Mackay. Another one to end the over, but again finds the leg side sweeper. The doctor comes out at the end of the over, but Frankie says relax. She’ll keep swinging.
NZ need 84 from 66.
8th over: NZ 41-2 (Mackay 23, A Kerr 6) Georgia Wareham on, and the Kiwis tackle her immediately. Mackay advances and drives a run. Kerr gets low and sweeps a boundary, then takes a run to mid on, hit well enough to draw a misfield. Deep square leg is back now, so Mackay’s sweep only yields one run. But seven from the over, and that helps.
New Zealand need 89 from 72 balls.
7th over: NZ 34-2 (Mackay 21, A Kerr 1) Amelia Kerr to the middle. Mackay was really put up top as a pinch-hitter but she’s still there, and now probably has to try to bat long. After trading a couple of singles she finds her first boundary, dipping her knees to pull Carey hard and flat behind square. Then a dicey single to end the over, taking on the throw from Haynes that misses as Mackay labours to the non-striker’s end. Apparently she’s dealing with an injury niggle, she certainly looks hampered on those fast runs.
WICKET! Satterthwaite c Mooney b Carey 6 (6), NZ 27-2
Oh dear. First ball after the Powerplay, Nicola Carey bowling her medium pace, at the pads of Satterthwaite who plays the pick-up shot nicely. Times it, hits it aerially. But there’s a deep midwicket and it lands straight in her hands. Looked like she wanted to go a bit squarer with that.
6th over: NZ 27-1 (Mackay 15, Satterthwaite 6) The uppercut again from Mackay facing Brown, and it lands not far short of Schutt at deep third. Satterthwaite backs away and glides a run to that same region. But when Brown goes in at the body, it tucks up Mackay and she can’t score. Nor off the yorker that follows. She’s faced 19 balls for 13 now, wants to get away. Times her next shot better off her pads, through square leg for two runs.
The Powerplay overs have cost Australia 4, 2, 8, 3, 5 and 5. A triumph.
5th over: NZ 22-1 (Mackay 12, Satterthwaite 5) Mackay is a busy player but the one bowler she doesn’t know how to handle is Schutt. That inswing confounds Mackay, she falls over her front leg trying to move across to it, consistently. Four dot balls as she gropes about, before managing to jab a single square on the leg side. Satterthwaite rescues the over for NZ as Schutt doesn’t correct her line to the left-hander, letting the batter leg-glance a four.
4th over: NZ 17-1 (Mackay 11, Satterthwaite 1) Darcie Brown continues as she left off. Quick, at the body, sometimes outside the off stump. The batters fend a couple of singles and then Frankie uppercuts a run stylishly. Another tidy one, three runs from the over.
WICKET! Jensen c Lanning b Perry 3 (12), NZ 14-1
3rd over: NZ 14-1 (Mackay 9) Ellyse Perry to have a bowl. She didn’t do so in the first match, only batted at the end of the innings. Starts with a rusty effort, on the leg stump and Mackay gloves it through fine leg for four. The batter whacks a single to mid on, and that’s also a no-ball for the overstep, says the third umpire. Jensen swings herself off her feet at the free hit, backing away and missing completely. Gets a single to cover off a midfield, then Mackay continues The Frankie Show by scooping over fine leg. But it’s saved, yielding only a single, and that brings Jensen on strike for the sixth ball. She tries to clear mid off and instead slices it straight to Lanning at cover. That’s what I was referring to with Jensen: 3 from 12 is not what you need from an opener, who seldom looked like she had a clear idea about where to score.