A Brisbane schoolgirl who has the unusual ability to bowl spin both right and left handed bamboozled the New Zealand Emerging Players line-up as Australia cruised to a six-wicket victory in the first of four one-day internationals in Sydney.
Jemma Barsby ended a one-sided contest at Blacktown Olympic Sportspark with the superb analysis of 5-12 from 7.5 overs as New Zealand was routed for 90 inside 34 overs.
Australia ensured leaden and skies and intermittent drizzle sweeping the city did not offer the visitors an escape route as they plundered the required 91 runs from just 18.1 overs.
Barsby, 17, astounded umpires and opponents in Brisbane grade cricket earlier this season with her uncanny ability to switch bowling hands as she zeroes in on the crease.
She first informs the umpire which hand she is using so the batsman is not caught unawares, not that the warning helped New Zealand after they were asked to bat first.
Barsby removed the bulk of the middle and lower order after Meg Kendal and captain Maddy Green produced the only innings and partnership of substance.
Green top scored with a defiant 35 at first drop while Kendal (20) was the only other double-figure contributor.
The pair added 35 to take the score past 50 but when Kendal was leg before wicket to Gemma Triscari the innings steadily deteriorated to such an extent that extras was the third highest score with 12.
Australia completed their run chase less than three overs after the scheduled innings break with captain Nicole Bolton (24) and Beth Mooney (24*) top scoring.
Left arm spinner Morna Nielsen, one of seven squad members with White Ferns experience, was the pick of an otherwise expensive and impotent attack.
She took three for 27 from nine overs and delivered the only two maidens of the Australian innings.
The series continues at the same venue on Friday.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Is cricket still NZ's top summer sport?Related story: Rain can't save Black Caps from big defeat