New Zealand must chase 272 to win
What does one make of that? Party Time never got started, Australia added only 58 in the last 10 overs. Wickets kept falling, and nobody was able to score freely from the off. Only four boundaries in the last 10 overs, and only one six in the entire innings. Solid contributions off the top from Haynes, Healy, and Lanning, but all of them fell when they tried to accelerate.
Nonetheless, 271 is still an imposing total. New Zealand’s women have only once in their history chased a bigger score to win a match. That was the slightly bigger 276 they scored in Auckland in 2017, when Amy Satterthwaite made a ton and Katey Martin gave invaluable support. They’ll need something very similar today to repeat that result.
As for Leigh Kasperek, let’s consider that performance for a moment. The fourth-best figures in ODIs for New Zealand women. Jacqueline Lord’s 6 for 10 was taken against a very ordinary India team in 1982. Glenys Page got 6 for 20 against an even more ropey Trinidad & Tobago team in 1973. Beth McNeill got 6 for 32 against England in 2008. And Kasperek got 6 for 42 against the fully professional, multiple world champions, Australia. In her first match back after being dropped from the team for the previous series.
Quite the effort. That’s enough from me. We’ll be back with the chase momentarily, and you’ll be in the care of Emma Kemp.