Bates fifty leads New Zealand Women to series win
New Zealand Women 117 for 5 (Bates 54, Lanning 2-17) beat Australia Women 116 for 6 (Perry 55*, Kasperek 3-26, Nielsen 2-12) by five wickets
Captain Suzie Bates continued her excellent form, stroking her third fifty-plus score in four matches, to help New Zealand Women wrap up the series against Australia Women in Wellington.
After bowling four overs for 30 runs, Bates added 59 for the first wicket with Rachael Priest to lay the foundation for the chase of 117. Meg Lanning produced a double-strike in the tenth over to remove Priest and Sara McGlashan. Bates and Amy Satterthwaite, however, ate into the target with a brisk 47-run partnership for the third wicket. Both batsmen were dismissed as New Zealand faced some late hiccups, but the chase was completed with five wickets and three balls to spare.
The win, however, was set up by Morna Nielsen and offspinner Leigh Kasperek, who had picked up three wickets in the previous game. Nielsen accounted for both openers inside three overs before Kasperek sliced through the middle order. Nielsen and Kasperek boasted combined figures of 8-0-38-5. Ellyse Perry, though, rallied Australia with her third T20I fifty, which included three fours and two sixes. She took Australia to 116 with an unbeaten 55, but it was not enough to keep the series alive.
The third and final T20, which has been reduced to a dead rubber, will be played at New Plymouth on Friday.