Ferns pushing for rare Australian double

CHRIS BARCLAY
Last updated 18:35 13/12/2012
Suzie Bates
Photosport
CAPTAIN'S KNOCK: Suzie Bates scores an unbeaten hundred to lead her team to victory over Australia.

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The New Zealand women’s cricket team is desperate to prove a historic one-day international victory at the SCG on Wednesday was not an aberration as they continue to press for a rare Rose Bowl series win against Australia.

The White Ferns have not recorded back-to-back wins against the Southern Stars since 2008 at Lincoln, on the outskirts of Christchurch, so tomorrow's clash at North Sydney Oval offers a timely opportunity to redress a traditional imbalance.

New Zealand’s eight wicket triumph yesterday in the first trans-Tasman ODI to be completed at the SCG ended a 12-match losing sequence that dated back to 2009 and raised the prospect of a first series win since 1999, with three games remaining.

Captain Suzie Bates led the chase for 249 with a superb unbeaten 122 – Amy Satterthwaite also weighed in with a pivotal 98 – but although the Australian attack was flayed to all parts of the iconic ground, the White Ferns were not assuming the balance of power had tilted.

“We know Australia will come back even better,” said Bates, noting Australia were missing opening bowlers Julie Hunter and Ellyse Perry.

Hunter, who has caused the White Ferns problems in recent times, is not in the current squad due to injury, but dual international Perry should be in contention for game two after she was rested from the opener.

Allrounder Sophie Devine (foot) and top order batter Frances Mackay (quadriceps) are also likely to be available for New Zealand so new coach Katrina Keenan has to decide whether to tinker with a winning team.

With Bates and Satterthwaite thriving the White Ferns batting order wasn’t exposed while the bowling attack did well to peg back the Australians after they looked on track to set a target in the range of 300.

Pace bowlers Rachel Candy (4-35) and Morna Nielsen (2-39) were especially effective during their nine and 10 overs respectively.

North Sydney Oval also hosts the third and fourth instalments of the series on Monday and Wednesday.

Since the Rose Bowl was first contested in 1985, Australia has won the series on 20 occasions and New Zealand just three.

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