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February 9, 2000
The Australian Southern Stars completed a flawless twelve days of cricket, winning all seven of their one-day internationals. After taking four out of four against England they completed a 3-0 clean sweep of New Zealand in the Rose Bowl today, victors in the final match at the Junction Oval, St Kilda, by seven wickets.
Debbie Hockley, playing possibly her last innings in Australia, was dismissed early for 22 as New Zealand made 8/179 in their fifty overs. Nicola Payne was top score with 36, while captain Emily Drumm (28) and Haidee Tiffen (27) boosted the Kiwi middle order.
Chasing 180, Australia lost their first wicket when Lisa Keightley (7) was run out in a mixup with her Australian captain opening partner. Belinda Clark went on to score her third consecutive half-century in this year's Rose Bowl, and her fifth in a row beginning on February 1 against England at Bowral. Her 103-ball innings of 61 came to end when she lofted Catherine Campbell to Kate Pulford at long-off. Her 90-run partnership with Jo Broadbent (45) set up an entertaining conclusion by Karen Rolton (45 not out from 53 balls) and Martha Winch (15 not out from 20 balls). Australia won the match with 7.5 overs to spare.
The three-match series was expected to determine who, between Australia and New Zealand, is the number one team in women's cricket at the moment. A well-drilled Australian unit has put that beyond doubt for the time being.
What Australia have not done since returning a fractured unit from India is head back to Asia to play an Asian team. Two of their major weaknesses - handling spin and reverse swing - will be tested in the UAE by Pakistan
The WICB statement should cool down emotions and allow all parties involved to take the next step forward
Players demanding that home pitches should be prepared to favour them don't realise it's a retaliatory business
ESPNcricinfo runs the rule over the preparation of all 16 Australia players ahead of the first Test, which starts in Dubai on Wednesday