Australia seal Rose Bowl 3-0 after Poulton century
Australia 6 for 236 (Poulton 101, Sthalekar 46, Devine 2-32, Watson 2-42) beat New Zealand 8 for 231 (Fahey 69, Browne 35*, Andrews 2-51, Hayes 2-53) by 5 runs
A century from the opener Leah Poulton in her third one-day international has secured the Rose Bowl for Australia after another thrilling match at Allan Border Field. The five-run victory over New Zealand gave the Southern Stars a 3-0 lead in the five-game series after they won the first two encounters by one run and one wicket.
Australia's 6 for 236 was led by Poulton, whose 101 included seven fours and one six, and the stand-in captain Lisa Sthalekar, who narrowly missed her third consecutive half-century. In reply the visitors reached 8 for 231, with the opener Maria Fahey (69) doing her best to upset the Australians until she and Sarah Tsukigawa (10) fell in one Sarah Andrews over. A late flurry from the allrounder Nicola Browne, who picked up 35 not out from 27 balls, was not enough for the White Ferns to steal a late win.
The day belonged to Poulton, a former Australia Under-19 captain, who had a strong domestic season for New South Wales in 2005-06, finishing as the fifth-highest run-scorer in the WNCL. Poulton, 22, was dropped on 62 by Aimee Mason but recovered her composure to become only the fourth Australian to score a century against New Zealand.
"It does help to have somebody bat through the innings and luckily I could do that for the Australian girls today," Poulton told the ABC. "It will definitely be a goal of the girls to get a 5-0 sweep of the series."
Australia suffered a blow before the game when the captain Karen Rolton was ruled out with a knee injury. MRI scans on her left knee on Monday revealed a minor meniscal tear that will require treatment when she goes home to Adelaide, but she has not closed the door on playing in the remaining two matches.
"The good news is that no further damage can be done if I do play," Rolton said. "I'll see how things go over the next few days. I wouldn't risk further injury as the domestic season is around the corner and there are international games ahead in February that I need to consider."