Australia have beaten New Zealand by 17 runs in the T20 opening series in Brisbane, with Ashleigh Gardner scoring for half a century in the home side’s first game since winning the T20 World Cup final in March.
The main point:
- Ashleigh Gardner scored 61, with innings including three six and six four
- Australia made 6-138 of 20 overs, with New Zealand posting 7-121 in response
- The home team are playing their first match since the T20 World Cup final in March
Gardner made 61 runs of 41 deliveries to help Australia deliver a total of 6-138 of the 20 overs at Allan Border Field.
New Zealand managed to score 7-121 in retaliation for missing the first of three T20 internationals in Brisbane.
The two sides face off again in Brisbane on Sunday and Wednesday.
Making their first appearance since playing in front of more than 80,000 spectators at the T20 World Cup final at MCG, Australia held their guts in front of an audience limited to just 380 fans.
Gardner smashed three points six and six four to help the hosts take the lead after a shaky start in the two-step goal.
Opener Beth Mooney and Alyssa Healy both fell while trying to push upwards before Rachael Haynes (23 of 18) and Sophie Molineux (duck) were guilty of the same.
Meg Lanning (24 of 28) was dismissed just as she hit the rope and it could be 6-83 when Nicola Carey survived what appeared to be a lead behind the first ball she faced Sophie Devine.
Australia rode his luck, with Gardner filling their final overs with three straight six over the midwicket and sharp off-drives to lift 50 of his 37 balls.
New Zealand captain Devine mixed his pace well, taking 10 runs in his final to finish with 3-18 of four overs.
He then did his best with the bat before Healy produced a match-changing leg kick from Delissa Kimmince’s bowling game.
Devine was ruled out by the third referee when Healy released bail, the New Zealander out for 29.
Suzie Bates produced the highest score for New Zealand with 33 of 38 submissions.
Megan Schutt was the best of the Australian bowlers with 4-23 and Kimmince scoring 2-24.
The two teams wore black armbands and shared a minute’s silence before the match in memory of Dean Jones.
Jones, who played 52 Tests and 164 ODI for Australia, died of a heart attack in India on Thursday, aged 59.
AAP / ABC
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