New Zealand hold nerve for 2-0 lead
New Zealand 218 for 7 (Tiffen 64*, Sthalekar 2-40) beat Australia 214 for 9 (Sthalekar 72, Rolton 62, Bates 3-40) by 4 runs
Half-centuries to Lisa Sthalekar and Karen Rolton could not stop Australia falling to a second defeat to New Zealand as the hosts held their nerve in the final stages of a tense contest. Australia appeared to be on track chasing 218 for 7 after reaching 4 for 191 in the 45th over, but Suzie Bates stepped in with two wickets as the visitors crashed to a four-run defeat.
New Zealand, who lead the five-match Rose Bowl series 2-0, captured five breakthroughs in the final 32 balls with Bates collecting 3 for 40 with her medium pace. Australia were in early trouble at 16 for 2 in their chase before Rolton and Sthalekar regained control during a 113-run partnership.
Rolton, the captain, was first to go when she was dismissed for 62 by Bates. Sthalekar, who finished with 72, continued to push towards the total but her departure started a nervous collapse.
Bates, who had already removed Rolton and Sthalekar, also picked up Ellyse Perry and there were two run-outs in the scramble to the finish. Australia needed 11 to win off the last over but Erin Osborne and Emma Sampson, who was stumped from the final ball, could manage only six.
Haidee Tiffen's 64 bulked up New Zealand's total as the top seven all reached double figures. Three wickets were lost within the first 15 overs, with Bates giving her side an early push with 28 at almost a run a ball.
Tiffen arrived with the team 3 for 60 and carefully built on the score during her 103-ball innings, which included three fours. She batted through and found useful assistance in the latter stages from Amy Satterthwaite's 20 and Lucy Doolan's unbeaten 29 off 21. Both Satterthwaite and Doolan also played key roles during the opening victory on Sunday.