New Zealand Women take lead in two-match series
New Zealand Women 4 for 152 (Bates 42, Devine 39) beat Australia Women 7 for 151 (Lanning 76, Nielsen 2-25) by six wickets
New Zealand Women beat Australia Women by six wickets with two balls to spare in the first Twenty20 match of the series in Melbourne on Tuesday. The two sides will play the second match of the series later in the day.
Captain Suzie Bates led the New Zealand team's chase of 151, with an important knock of 42. Bates and Sophie Devine set the foundation for a New Zealand win, adding 67 runs for the third wicket, before Frances Mackay and Nicola Browne took their side past the target with an unbeaten fifth-wicket stand of 54.
Earlier, Australia managed to score a respectable 7 for 151 after they were reduced to 3 for 15. Left-arm spinner Morna Nielsen and medium-pacer Lea Tahuhu struck early to dismiss Jess Cameron and Lisa Sthalekar in quick succession after opener Alyssa Healy was run out in the first over.
The Australia innings recovered following a 75-run partnership between Meg Lanning, who top scored with 76, and Alexandra Blackwell for the fourth wicket. However, Australia again lost a flurry of wickets towards the end of their innings that limited them to 151.