Australia trounce New Zealand by 115 runs
Australia 241 (Haynes 56, Blackwell 51) beat New Zealand 126 (Sthalekar 3-25) by 115 runs
Australia began their Rose Bowl defence in the best possible way by demolishing New Zealand by 115 runs at the Adelaide Oval. Rachael Haynes and Alex Blackwell set up a strong total of 241 with half-centuries before Lisa Sthalekar ran through the New Zealand middle order and the visitors collapsed for 126, which confirmed the second-greatest run margin ever between the two teams.
A double-figure total loomed for New Zealand when they slumped to 7 for 60 following the third of Sthalekar's wickets but Katey Martin and Sophie Devine staged a minor recovery. Despite Martin's 35, the damage was done and they sputtered out in the 37th over when Ellyse Perry's second wicket ended the match.
Having been sent in, Australia were given a solid platform thanks to a 102-run opening stand from Shelley Nitschke (35) and Haynes. In her second one-day international, Haynes top scored with 56 and when she departed, the captain Blackwell took up the fight with 51, which ended a lean patch in which she failed to reach double figures in her previous five innings.
The debutant teenage wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy made a useful contribution with 21 from 11 deliveries before the Australians were dismissed in the 48th over. But early wickets to Perry and Sarah Andrews, followed by Sthalekar's strikes, meant Australia's total was never in serious danger.
The teams meet again in Adelaide on Thursday before heading to Melbourne for the remaining three matches in the series. Australia hold the Rose Bowl after last summer's drawn series in New Zealand, prior to which the Australians had a win also in New Zealand in 2007-08.