February 6, 2000

Australia go one-up in Rose Bowl

The Australian Southern Stars carried on today where they left off against England. Fresh from a 4-0 clean sweep against the English women, Australia scored a thirteen-run victory over New Zealand today at Albert Ground, Melbourne, to take a one-nil lead in the three-match series.

The Rose Bowl is the annual symbol of Trans-Tasman supremacy in women's cricket, with New Zealand the defending title holders.

An even hundred by veteran New Zealand opener Debbie Hockley was not enough as the visitors were dismissed for 167 chasing Australia's 9/180 - captain Belinda Clark contributing 69.

For the fifth time in five one-day internationals this season, Clark, Australia's most-capped captain, won the toss. She elected to bat first, but New Zealand made an early breakthrough when Rachel Pullar had Lisa Keightley trapped lbw in the eighth over of the day for 3.

Pullar had a hand in the second wicket to fall, Cherie Bambury (4) getting a leading edge to a Haidee Tiffen full-toss which skied to Pullar at mid-on.

Australia were 3/66 in the 22nd over when Karen Rolton (19) was stumped by Rebecca Rolls who found the left-hander batter well out of her ground to a wide ball from off-spinner Catherine Campbell.

Clark's partnership with Jo Broadbent (34) saw some of the brightest batting of the innings, and the Australian captain raised her third half-century in consectutive ODI innings when she smashed a Paula Gruber full-toss to the long-on boundary. Clark was out in the 34th over for 69, pulling Pullar straight into the hands of Hockley at mid-on. The Australian captain's innings came from 100 deliveries and included seven boundaries. Over her last three international innings, beginning last Tuesday against England at Bowral, she had scored 281 runs without dismissal.

Australia collapsed to be 9/150, among the wickets to fall being that of Olivia Magno, run out without facing a delivery. Therese McGregor (23*) and Avril Fahey (12*) played a valuable tenth-wicket partnership of 30 in 33 deliveries, taking the home side's final total to 9/180 - a far cry from their 2/299 against England three days ago.

Haidee Tiffen (3/24 from nine overs) was the most successful of the New Zealand bowlers, with Pullar (2/42) and Campbell (2/36) the other bowlers to claim wickets.

With New Zealand chasing 181 for victory, the Australian new-ball pair of Cathryn Fitzpatrick and Charmaine Mason started proceedings with four maiden overs. Debbie Hockley got off the mark in the fifth over by top-edging Fitzpatrick over the keeper's head for four. She soon broke free from the restraints of the Australian attack, but opening partner Anna O'Leary had no such luck, playing just two scoring shots in her 43-ball innings of 5. O'Leary was dismissed in the seventeenth over of the innings when she attempted to drive off-spinner Avril Fahey but instead edged the ball to Lisa Keightley at first slip.

The new New Zealand captain, Emily Drumm, scored six before hitting legspinner Olivia Magno straight to Mason at square leg. Former Netherlands international Nicola Payne had failed to score when Fahey took a good diving catch in the deep from a Magno leg-side full toss. New Zealand were 3/54 after 26 overs and would have been in deep trouble, except for one thing... Debbie Hockley was still at the crease, having contributed 39 out of those 54.

Tiffen (12) fell to a confusing run-out and when Rolls (18) lofted McGregor to a waiting Jo Broadbent, New Zealand were 5/119, needing 62 to win from 57 deliveries. By the end of the 45th over the chase was 46 from 30, and then Hockley and Kathryn Ramel put the foot on the accelerator. The next three overs, two from Mason and one from Fitzpatrick, went for nine runs each, although Ramel (14) fell to the second run out of the day. Hockley brought up her hundred in the 48th over from 161 deliveries (nine fours), but she was bowled by Fitzpatrick in the 49th over from the next ball she faced.

Fitzpatrick made it two wickets from three balls when Pullar was bowled attempting to pull. With New Zealand needing sixteen to win, the fiftieth over saw Keenan bowled, then a leg bye, then a bye, then Gruber bowled. New Zealand all out for 167 with two balls to spare.

Mason (2/43 from 9.4 overs) found the going tougher than against the English, but has still taken 16 wickets in her last four ODI innings. Legspinner Magno (2/22 from ten) was the most successful of the Australian bowlers after missing most of the England series. Fitzpatrick (2/28 from ten) was very economical until the final ill-fated NZ onslaught, McGregor and Fahey claiming one wicket each.

Game two of this series takes place at the same ground on Tuesday, with the final match at Junction Oval, St Kilda on Wednesday.

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