Schutt, Gardner guides Australia to a T20 win over the Kiwi | Cricket News | Instant News

BRISBANE: Australia Megan Schutt picked up two crucial goals in the closing stages as the world champions beat New Zealand by 17 runs in Saturday’s T20 opening game in Brisbane.
With the visitors approaching Australia’s total 138, Schutt claimed a vital goal Katey Martin and Suzie Bates in the 18th minute to put the Kiwis at 105-5.
They couldn’t regain momentum and the hosts snatched a comfortable win in their first game since winning the World Cup in March.
Australia reached their total by missing six goals thanks to a superb 61 from Ash Gardner, who smashed six boundaries and cleared the fence three times on 41 balls.
“I think we fought really well, initially with the bat,” the Australia captain Meg Lanning the word.
Inning Ash Gardner is great for getting us to a total competitive edge.
“We think we are in the game because there is a little problem on the pitch.”
After New Zealand captain Sophie Devine won the draw and sent Australia in, the home side had a sluggish start in the face of some tight Kiwi bowling.
Beth Mooney went into hiding midway through the second half before dangerous Alicia Healy fell to fifth with just six goals at 25-2.
When Lanning trailed by 46, the visitors were in control.
But Gardner took the game from New Zealand with some impressive strokes.
Devine opened New Zealand batting and strengthened his path to 29 until given a controversial decision by the TV referee.
Bates and Martin looked to get the New Zealand pursuit back on track until Schutt’s crucial double-break.
“We have to stay in the contest for a longer period of time,” said Devine.
“They did 10-20 more runs than they should have and we throw badly sometimes and field badly.
“Same with bats. We keep in touch with them but then let them escape.”
The two teams will play two more T20s before the three-match ODI series, all on Allan’s Border Field.


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