New Zealand on verge of drought-breaking win
Nicola Browne's unbeaten 59 guided New Zealand to a five-wicket win over Australia in game three of the Rose Bowl
New Zealand 171 for 5 (Browne 59*, McGlashan 41) beat Australia 170 (Perry 51, Coleman 44) by five wickets
New Zealand need only one victory from the remaining two matches of the Rose Bowl after Nicola Browne's unbeaten 59 guided them to a five-wicket win and a 2-1 lead over Australia. In a contest where both top orders struggled on the Lincoln surface, it was the home team's fine recovery that sealed the success in the 43rd over and put them in sight of their first triumph in the series since 1999.
Nicola Browne's unbeaten 59 guided New Zealand to a five -wicket win
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In trouble at 36 for 3 chasing the visitors' 170, New Zealand relied on the rescue act from Sara McGlashan and Browne, whose partnership of 100 eliminated any doubts of defeat. McGlashan left on 41 when she became Shelley Nitschke's second victim, but Browne stayed till the end, hitting five boundaries during her 93-ball innings.
Australia won the toss, batted and soon wished they had bowled after dropping to 24 for 5, including two run-outs in the first five balls. Ellyse Perry, the 17-year-old allrounder, picked the perfect time to score her maiden international half-century and combined in important stands of 40 with Jodie Purves (21) and 80 with the wicketkeeper Leonie Coleman. They were the only Australians to reach double figures, with Coleman's career-high 44 off 42 balls and Perry's 51 allowing them to reach a useful but below-par total.
"Our batting let us down again and losing five early wickets was obviously not ideal," Karen Rolton, the Australia captain, said. "However, Jodie and Ellyse did really well to get the innings going and Leonie was great.
"When we had them at 3 for 36 we were in with a chance, but they batted too well. We're having a bit of trouble getting Nicola Browne out at the moment. Down 2-1 in the series, we know exactly what we need to do in the last two matches, so we'll be looking to improve the batting on Saturday to give ourselves a chance."
New Zealand also benefited from strong fielding and the confusion of their opponents as they gathered five run-outs in Australia's innings, which ended when Perry was bowled by Sophie Devine. Devine finished with 2 for 33 while Helen Watson, who gave up 11 runs from her ten overs, Rachel Candy and Sarah Tsukigawa each collected a wicket.