Rolls ton powers New Zealand to six-wicket win
New Zealand 261 for 4 (Rolls 104*, Fahey 53) beat Australia 260 for 9 (Sthalekar 65) by six wickets
Rebecca Rolls smashed an unbeaten century to lead New Zealand to a convincing six-wicket victory against Australia in the opening game of the Women's Quadrangular tournament in Chennai. Rolls hammered 104 off 87 balls as New Zealand overhauled Australia's 260 for 9 with 30 balls to spare.
"Australia had a good total," Rolls said, "I think because they got [off] to a slowish start. We knew that if we stayed there the boundaries would come. The outfield was very fast and ground was small so scoring was not a problem."
In contrast to Australia's rather pedestrian beginnings, New Zealand made a quick start with the openers adding a run-a-ball 45 before Suzie Bates fell for 15. Rolls joined Maria Fahey in the 18th over with the score on 80 for 2. Fahey departed for 53 and after New Zealand lost a couple of wickets in quick time, Sarah Tsukigawa supported Rolls superbly during an unbeaten fifth-wicket partnership. Rolls notched her second ODI hundred in 99 matches during the 108-run stand with Tsukigawa that sealed New Zealand's victory.
After choosing to bat, Australia recovered from a top-order wobble to post a competitive target. Helen Watson picked up 3 for 30 and helped reduce Australia to 46 for 4 before Lisa Sthalekar led the fightback.
Sthalekar found good support in Shelley Nitschke, who scored 33. The pair added a vital 82 for the fifth wicket but New Zealand's bowlers plugged away to limit Australia's momentum and, once Sthalekar fell for a 76-ball 65, their innings fell away. Like Nitschke, Jodie Purves and Cathryn Fitzpatrick both contributed useful knocks of 33 but neither went on to make a sizeable contribution.