Australia v New Zealand, 1st women's ODI, Brisbane October 20, 2006

Australia seal last-ball thriller in series opener

Cricinfo staff

Australia Women 9 for 201 (Sthalekar 51, Rolton 44, Dodd 2-18) beat New Zealand Women 9 for 200 (Mason 71, Fitzpatrick 2-49) by one run



Lisa Sthalekar drove Australia's total with an important 51 in her 50th match © Getty Images
Australia gave Karen Rolton and Cathryn Fitzpatrick the perfect result to celebrate their 100th games for their country with a nail-biting one-run win in the opening match of the Rose Bowl Series in Brisbane. Chasing 202 for victory, New Zealand wanted 21 from the last 18 balls and seven from the final over, but it took the last-ball run-out of Sarah Burke to end the valiant attempt.

A fine 71 from Aimee Mason, who hit ten fours and a six, kept the visitors in sight of the target and when she was another of the four run-outs Anna Dodd struck 15 off 10 balls to ensure a thrilling conclusion. Fitzpatrick finished with figures of 2 for 49 while Rolton, the captain, contributed with a brisk 44 after winning the toss.

Lisa Sthalekar marked her 50th one-day international by top scoring with 51 and she passed another milestone by becoming the eighth Australian to reach 1000 career runs. Melissa Bulow picked up 29 at the top of the order and some late contributions from Jodie Purves and Julie Hayes pushed Australia to 9 for 201. The second match of the five-game series is at Allan Border Field on Sunday.